Highlands & Islands

Sutherland's winning flag unfurled

Sutherland's new flag Image copyright Philip Tibbetts
Image caption The flag has been officially recognised by Scotland's heraldic authority, the Court of the Lord Lyon

A flag has been chosen to represent the county of Sutherland following a public vote.

The winning design, which features a Saltire and a Nordic cross, received 921 votes.

Three other flags were in contention, including one originally selected by a judging panel and drew public criticism for its eagle and stars design.

A ceremony was held at Highland Council's offices in Golspie to unveil the winning flag.

The design represents Sutherland's position as the historic mainland frontier between Scotland the Vikings, said the Flag Institute which held the public vote.

The star in the design represents the Sun at its highest in the south and the origins of the county's name as the Viking's "South Land".

The colours were inspired by those of the former Sutherland County Council.

Image copyright Philip Tibbetts
Image caption Sutherland's new flag, right, with that of the county's neighbour Caithness

The official warrant to initiate the registration of the flag with Scotland's heraldic authority, the Court of the Lord Lyon, has now been signed off.

The flag is now free for the public and businesses to fly and make use of.

Philip Tibbetts, Scotland's honorary vexillologist, said there had been a "fantastic response" to the vote.

He said: "The winner is a great design and did well to win a very close vote.

"I have to thank the county's school pupils for putting in hundreds of entries, including two of the finalists, and being represented on the judging panel."

Image copyright Flag Institute
Image caption People living and working in Sutherland were invited to vote on four designs

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