Last modified: 2013-01-05 by rob raeside
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Sark (in French Serq) is one of the Channel Islands in the English
Channel. It comprises Great Sark and Little Sark connected by an isthmus. The
flag which is at the same time the flag of the island and the flag of the
Seigneur, is white with a red St-George cross and a red canton containing two
yellow lions. It has the proportions 1:2. This canton is like the arms of
Normandy, not far from Sark.
Pascal Vagnat, 14 March 1996
A 1994 item in Flagmaster says that doubt has been cast
upon the story told to the Flag Institute by Dame Sybil Hathaway
that the flag had been in use 'for at least two hundred years'.
Apparently, it only dates from 1938 when she contacted Mr. Herbert
Pitt (a member of the pre-war Flag Circle) who designed it for her.
The Société Serquiaise has a record of the
David Prothero, 20 June 1997
Is there a reason the lions on the flag of Sark are not confined to the area
within the cross? Perhaps the description should not be "Cross of St. George,"
as the lions overwhelm one of the horizontal arms and part (if not all, for a
border) of one of the vertical ones.
Nathan Lamm, 4 June 2003
As far as I know the flag of Sark is 'unofficial' or at least has no official
standing, and the size of the lions of Normandy, therefore, are a matter of
personal interpretation. I am not sure which is older as a symbol, but the Cross
of St George should overlie the lions as a matter of seniority since England is
a kingdom and Normandy was (and probably still is) a duchy? Despite the fact
that the Medieval ruling class in England spoke Norman-French, and mostly had
Norman ancestry, our monarchs were Kings of England first and Dukes of Normandy
second. As an example (and if I remember Magna Carta correctly) King John signed
himself: John, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and of
Aquitain, Count of Anjou.
Christopher Southworth, 4 June 2003
"Unofficial", probably, yes - though interestingly enough, the last time I
was in Sark it was flying at the main cross-roads of the 'village', and it
wasn't flying at La Seigneurie, the home of the Seigneur of Sark, which doesn't
square with the suggestion that it is the Seigneur's personal flag rather
than the island flag.
As for relative seniority of the emblems, I should point out that Sark (and the other Channel Islands) were Norman before they were "English" (or British, as we islanders prefer to say), and that the reason Sark and the other islands have this dual heritage at all is because in 1066 Normandy conquered England!
André Coutanche, 4 June 2003
On the Seigneur of Sark's website at
not only is there a page about Sark's constitution, but he shows the Sark flag
(the Sark flag, note, not the Seigneur's flag). Guess what? The lower
lion is levitating above the St George's Gross! (But I think he's got it wrong!)
André Coutanche, 6 June 2003
On the site of the Seigneur Beaumont (http://mail.sark.gov.gg), concerning a possible future red ensign for Sark:
Sources: http://mail.sark.gov.gg/~mbeaumont/0304agenda.htm and http://mail.sark.gov.gg/~mbeaumont/0304ensign.htm
(I didn't find however the Guernsey Merchant Shipping Law 2002.)
ISLAND OF SARK
EASTER MEETING to be held on Wednesday, 23rd April, 2003, at 10.00 am. in the Island Hall
19. To Consider a Report of the GENERAL PURPOSES & FINANCE COMMITTEE on Sark's Own Defaced Red Ensign (copy enclosed).
[text of report:]
GENERAL PURPOSES & FINANCE COMMITTEE REPORT TO THE EASTER CHIEF PLEAS MEETING 2003 ON Sark's own Defaced Red Ensign.
Following the approval of the Projet de Loi entitled `The Merchant Shipping (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2002', at the Extraordinary Chief Pleas Meeting of March 2003, members discussed whether in fact further investigation should take place regarding Sark applying for its own Defaced Red Ensign, which this Committee stated in its Report was a separate issue and should not delay the approval of the Project. It was felt by members that this issue should be investigated further; therefore the Committee propose the following,
That Chief Pleas authorise the Sark Harbours Committee to investigate the possibility of Sark applying to have its own Defaced Red Ensign and report back to Chief Pleas in due course with their conclusions.
Deputy Adrian.L.Guille President
Pascal Vagnat, 7 June 2003
There's something I don't understand about this: as far as I know, there is
no registry of Sark vessels. All the Sark boats have GU (Guernsey)
registrations. Is it possible to have a defaced red ensign which would apply not
to where a vessel is registered but where she is kept (or
where the owner identifies with!)?
André Coutanche, 7 June 2003