The first-ever official Skye Flag was unveiled in Portree on Monday 24 August 2020.
The winning flag was chosen after a 15-month design competition that attracted 369 entries – including 200 from local schoolchildren – and over 7,000 votes cast through the West Highland Free Press and its website.
Its designer, 9-year-old Calum Alasdair Munro, unveiled the official Skye Flag in a hoisting ceremony at the Nicolson Memorial.
Calum is a passionate flag collector and drew his inspiration from Skye’s history, heritage and geography.
You can see an interview with him here.
The cross and interlaced circle reflect Skye’s Christian, Celtic and Viking past. The colours of yellow (MacLeod) and blue (MacDonald and MacKinnon) represent the earliest clans. Meanwhile a five-oared birlinn (the traditional Hebridean wooden boat) evokes the island’s maritime heritage and its five peninsulas – Trotternish, Waternish, Duirinish, Minginish and Sleat.
The search for a Skye Flag began in May 2019 when the West Highland Free Press, Highland Council and SkyeConnect jointly presented a petition to the court of the Lord Lyon. The Free Press organised the initial call for designs. Then a panel of community representatives shortlisted the six that best symbolised the island.
Free Press editor Keith MacKenzie commented:
‘The people who came up with the idea and launched the competition were from Skye. The vast majority of the entries came from Skye. The voting was from people on Skye or associated with Skye, and we have a local winner as well. People may like or dislike the flag but I don’t think anyone can argue against the process of finding the design.’