Oswald's Stripes

Flag Type:  Provincial Flag
Flag Date:  C7th
Flag Designer:  Traditional
Adoption Route:  Traditional
Aspect Ratio:  3:5
Pantone® Colours:  Red 201, Yellow 116
Certification:  Flag Institute Chief Vexillologist, Graham Bartram

The Northumbria Flag is a community flag proclaiming the unique identity of this historic region.

In his Ecclesiastical History of the English People (c. 731 CE), Saint Bede described a flag in tomb of Oswald of Northumbria (604β€”42 CE).

Oswald had united the kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira, and Bede recorded the flag as follows: ‘they hung up over the monument his banner made of gold and purple’.

Apparently based on this description, heralds have attributed gold and red bars to Northumbria throughout the ages.

In a staggered form they also appear as the Northumberland Flag.

Purple may have become red over time due to fading or the cost and scarcity of expensive purple dyes.

The Northumbria Flag registered here uses a shade of carmine red to reference both colours.

This also differentiates the design from similar red and yellow striped flags.