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Surrey (England)

Last modified: 2020-07-04 by rob raeside
Keywords: surrey | oak leaf |
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[Flag of Surrey] image by Jason Saber, 13 September 2014

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Description of the Flag

Surrey’s chequered flag is derived from the arms of William de Warenne the first Earl of Surrey. The pattern of blue and gold checks has been used in the arms of numerous Surrey towns and appears in the badges or sports kits of many organisations in the county today. The flag was added to the British Flag Registry in September 2014.
Jason Saber, 13 September 2014

Flag Type: County Flag
Flag Date: C13th
Flag Designer: Traditional
Adoption Route: Traditional
Aspect Ratio: 3:5
Pantone® Colours: Gold 116, Blue 286
Valentin Poposki, 1 July 2020

Surrey County Council

[Logo and Flag of Surrey County Council] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 11 August 2008

According to the Surrey History Centre web page, "The design (...) is the current logo for Surrey County Council which appears on all stationery and publications. When Surrey County Council is represented at an outdoor function it is also used as a flag. The colour is green and the design of oak leaves reflects the fact that the county of Surrey contains much woodland."
Francisco Santos
, 19 June 2003

This quote was interpreted by Francisco Santos as a ~7:9 very dark green flag with the logo and lettering in very light pastel aqua. The logo shows two oak leaves intertwined to form a circle in Escher-like fashion, above "Surrey County Council" composed in two lines with variable-stroke sans-serif capitals, the upper line ("Surrey") much larger; all centered to a vertical axis in the
middle of the flag area.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 11 August 2008

Surrey Coat of Arms

The county of Surrey has had two coats of arms. The original one uses colours taken from the personal arms of the ancient Earls of Surrey. A later one was designed after 1965 when a large portion of the county was absorbed into Greater London. The later design does not include the Saxon Crown (which represents Kingston-on-Thames where an ancient stone is kept on which 10th Century English kings were crowned and before that was used by the sub-kings of Surrey) nor does it include the ermine.
James Frankcom, 7 October 2003

Coat of arms before 1965

[Coat of arms of Surrey County] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 10 August 2008

Older arms (granted 1934): Per pale azure and sable a fess per pale ermine and or, in chief a representation of the crown of King Edgar proper and a sprig of oak fructed argent [from Briggs, 1971].
Ian Sumner, 11 August 2008

1965 Coat of arms

[Coat of arms of Surrey County] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 10 August 2008

The later coat of arms consists of a shield divided into halves, blue and black. The blue, and also the gold colour in the design are taken from the arms of the Warrennes, the first Earls of Surrey The black derives from the Arms of the towns of Guildford and Godalming. The interlaced gold keys which lie across the shield diagonally represent the power of the ancient Abbey of St Peter at Chertsey which once held extensive lands in Surrey. The keys form part of the Arms of the Diocese of Winchester - which used to include much of Surrey - and have also been retained in the Arms of the Diocese of Guildford. The sprig of oak symbolises Surrey's extensive rural areas and is drawn from the Badge of the FitzAlans, former Earls of Surrey. It also appears, incidentally, in the mouth of the Supporters of the Arms of the Duke of Norfolk, the present Earl of Surrey. The woolpack recalls the importance of the wool trade in medieval Surrey and acts as a reminder of the ancient wealth of the County.
Laurence Jones and James Frankcom, 13 October 2003

Current arms (granted 1974): Per pale Azure and Sable two Keys in bend wards upwards and outwards bows interlaced Or between in dexter base a Woolpack and in sinister chief a Sprig of Oak fructed Argent [from].
Ian Sumner, 11 August 2008

Banner of Arms

[Banner of arms of Surrey County] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 10 August 2008

A camping equipment and adventure travel company offers a flag for sale, based on this coat of arms, as a "county flag".
cjc.king, António Martins-Tuválkin, 22, 23 April 2008

Flag of the County Council

[Logo and Flag of Surrey County Council] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 11 August 2008

In 2003, I enquired of the County Council if they used a flag, and received this reply from the council's Brand Manager:
"The County Council has a flag carrying the coat of arms of the Chairman of the County Council. This flag is only flown when the County Council sits. The coat of arms used is the arms of the Chairman and not the county and can only be used if permission is given by the Chairman. The flag is a large oblong with the coloured coat of arms positioned in the centre. The surrounding area/background that is not filled with the coat of arms is a creamy white."

So the banner of arms was certainly not used by the Council themselves at that time (although things could have changed in the past five years).
Ian Sumner, 23 April 2008