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Coventry, West Midlands (England)

English Town

Last modified: 2021-09-18 by rob raeside
Keywords: west midlands | coventry |
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[Flag of Coventry] image located by John Moody, 8 December 2018

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Introduction: City of Coventry

Coventry is located by the Sherbourne River in the West Midlands. It historically has been part of Warwickshire. Although there have been settlements for centuries at its location and its history can be traced back to Roman and Saxon times, it wasn't given city status until the Middle Ages. Enormous wealth from the sale of high quality fleeces from Midlands sheep provided the basis of its economy, but it was most important as a religious center. As early as AD 700 a Saxon nunnery was founded by St Osburga in the area (later destroyed by King Canute's invading Danish army in 1016). Earl Leofric of Mercia and his wife the famous Lady Godiva built on the remains of the nunnery and founded a Benedictine monastery in 1043 dedicated to St Mary. Apart from Boudicca, Lady Godiva is the most celebrated woman from Dark Ages Britain. Godiva was very religious and had her jewelry converted into religious images and crosses. She was known for her generous gifts to abbeys and churches, and, with her husband, paid for churches and religious houses in Leominster, Worcester, Evesham, Burton-on-Trent, Hereford, Stowe and Chester. It is said that Godiva made her famous naked horse ride as a bargain with her husband to free the people of Coventry from the heavy taxes he had forced on them.
Later the 14th century cathedral church of Saint Michael was built where the St Mary monastery had been. Coventry become a major centre of pilgrimage. The Benedictines, Carthusians, Carmelites and Franciscans all had religious houses in the city. In time, a market was established at the abbey gates and the settlement expanded.
By the 14th century, Coventry was an important centre of the cloth trade, especially blue cloth dyed with woad and known as Coventry blue. Throughout the Middle Ages, it was one of the largest and most important cities in England. With the building of a two-mile long town wall, it would rival those of London, and the establishment of trade guilds whose membership stretched across Europe and the royal patronage it enjoyed, the city's fortunes seemed secure. Coventry's Royal Charter of 1345 and Charter of Incorporation was the first of its kind in England.
With its wealth the city became a cultural centre also. It is said that the plays that William Shakespeare witnessed in Coventry during his boyhood influenced his later works. It has always attracted writers, playwrights, artists and thinkers. In the mid-1800 the writer George Elliot came to know the city, and many more have been inspired by its history.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Coventry became one of the three main British centres of watch and clock manufacturing, and in the late 19th century, Coventry became a major centre of bicycle manufacturing. By the early 20th century, the bicycle industry had evolved into automotive manufacturing, and Coventry became a major centre of the British motor industry. The research and design headquarters of Jaguar Cars is in the city at their Whitley plant.
Its industrial importance invited German bombing and the city suffered severe bomb damage during the Second World War. Firebombing led to severe damage to large areas of the city centre and to Coventry's historic cathedral, leaving only a shell and the spire. It was targeted because of its high concentration of armaments, munitions, and aircraft plants which contributed greatly to the British war effort. Eventually more than 4,000 houses were damaged or destroyed, along with three quarters of the city's industrial plants. Hundreds were killed in these attacks, with thousands more injured and homeless. The Coventry Cathedral would later be built after the 14th-century cathedral church of Saint Michael was destroyed by the Luftwaffe in the Coventry Blitz of 14 November 1940.
The City of Coventry is now grown to become the ninth largest city in England and the 11th largest in the United Kingdom. It is the second largest city in the West Midlands. It is the birthplace of the Godiva legend and has been called the Detroit of Britain. It is a medieval walled city that became a 20th century industrial powerhouse, a victim of blitzkrieg, and a centre of learning. The city has three universities, Coventry University in the city centre, the University of Warwick on the southern outskirts and the smaller private Arden University, with its headquarters close to Coventry Airport. Coventry is like no other British city.
Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021

About the Coventry Flag

The city of Coventry has now got its very own flag. It will now fly high across the city in the build up to the 2021 year as UK City of Culture, and beyond.
On the first anniversary of Coventry being awarded that title, the flag has been unveiled, and it showcases two hugely important parts of the city's history. Front and centre is Lady Godiva, an iconic part of Coventry's long history. Edging the flag is two blocks of sky blue, the colour which represents Coventry City Football Club.
The flag was chosen after a competition organised by the BBC. Launched by BBC Coventry and Warwickshire's Vic Minett, the competition was whittled down to six final designs - as chosen by a judging panel of Lord Mayor John Blundell, Jacqui Ibbotson from the City of Culture Trust and Phillip Tibbets, from the UK Flag Institute. The public then voted for their favourite of the finalists, and the winning design came courtesy of Simon Wyatt of Hatton. Designs from Alex Chetwynd of Nuneaton, Ian Silvera of Coundon, David Ridley of Radford, Elliott Hawkins of Aldermans Green, Luke Carvill of Stoke and Rob Yeo of Tile Hill were runners up. Their designs feature various image including a phoenix rising from the flames, Coventry's three spires, an elephant, Lady Godiva, a cog as a symbol of industry AND one with black and white checks to represent two tone music. Four of the finalists chose sky blue and two the civic colours of red and green.

The flag can be seen at the Coventry Telegraph.
John Moody, 8 December 2018

"The Coventry Flag is a community flag proclaiming the unique identity of this Warwickshire city and its people. The flag triumphed in a competition organised by BBC Coventry & Warwickshire. It will waved proudly in 2021 when Coventry was named the UK City of Culture. The famous local heroine Lady Godiva appears mounted in black on a broad white pale. She represents Coventry's long history and strong principles, as well as its modern vocation as a city of peace. On either side of the figure, sky blue panels evoke 'Coventry Blue' - a dye used in the historic local textile industry. And, of course, this is also the colour of Coventry City Football Club, the famous "Sky Blues."

  • Flag Type: City Flag
  • Flag Date: 7th December 2018
  • Flag Designer: Simon Wyatt
  • Adoption Route: Popular Vote
  • UK Design Code: UNKG7541
  • Aspect Ratio: 3:5
  • Pantone® Colours: Blue 549, Black, White, Grey 422
  • Certification: Flag Institute Chief Vexillologist, Graham Bartram
Source: The UK Flag Registry: Coventry.
Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021

Proposed Flags for Coventry

[Proposed Flag of Coventry A] Entry A    [Proposed Flag of Coventry B] Entry B    [Proposed Flag of Coventry C] Entry C    [Proposed Flag of Coventry D] Entry D    [Proposed Flag of Coventry E] Entry E    [Proposed Flag of Coventry F] Entry F
images located by Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021

These flag designs were the six finalist in the BBC sponsored Coventry Flag Contest in 2018. The public voted for their favorite and the winning design was that of Simon Wyatt of Hatton (Entry E). The other designs were from Alex Chetwynd of Nuneaton and Ian Silvera of Coundon (Entry B), David Ridley of Radford (Entry C), Elliott Hawkins of Aldermans Green (Entry A) , Luke Carvill of Stoke (Entry F), and Rob Yeo of Tile Hill (Entry D) were the runners up.
Source: Coventry Telegraph, story by Matt Lloyd, 30 October 2018.
Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021

Coventry Coat of Arms

[Coventry Coat of Arms Flag] image located by Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021

"The arms were granted by King Edward III in 1345. The present arms are identical to the old arms, with the addition of the supporters, and were granted in 1959. The elephant is seen not only as a beast so strong that he can carry a tower - Coventry's castle - full of armed men, but also as a symbol of Christ's redemption of the human race. The elephant is also seen as a dragon slayer in Medieval thinking. There is a now forgotten tradition of dragon-slaying in this neighbourhood - and Coventry to be the birthplace of St. George, who slew the dragon. In the early seals of Coventry, from which the arms are derived, are shown, on one side, the combat between another dragon-slayer, the Archangel Michael, and the dragon. On the other is the elephant and castle. The shield is coloured red and green, the traditional colours of the city dating back at least to 1441.
The crest, a cat-a-mountain, or wild cat, is generally considered to symbolise watchfulness. The helmet is that of an esquire with the visor closed, as with all boroughs. The crest may have been suggested by the numbers of wild cats which once inhabited the Forest of Arden.
The supporters, granted in 1959, comprise the Eagle of Leofric (husband of Lady Godiva) and the Phoenix. The Black Eagle of Leofric recalls the ancient Coventry and the Phoenix arising from the flames represents the New Coventry reborn out of the ashes of the old. Coventry was heavily bombed and nearly completely destroyed during the second world war.
The motto Camera Principis (the Prince's Chamber) is held to refer to Edward, the Black Prince. The Manor of Cheylesmore at Coventry was at one time owned by his grandmother, Queen Isabella, and eventually passed to him."

Official Blazon

  • Arms: Per pale gules and vert, an elephant statant bearing on his back a Castle triple-towered and domed or.
  • Crest: A cat statant guardant proper.
  • Supporters: On the dexter side an Eagle, wings elevated and addorsed sable, langued and legged gules and on the sinister side a Phoenix, wings elevated and addorsed or langued gules, the Flames proper.
  • Motto: Camera Principis - The Prince's Chamber.
Source: Heraldry of the World: Coventry.
Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021

Coventry City Council Logos

[Coventry City Council Logo 1]     [Coventry City Council Logo 2]
images located by Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021

The current logos favored by the Coventry City Council on their website are variants of these two.
Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021

Coventry Flag - Commercial Variant

[Commercial Coventry Flag] image by Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021
Based on this image.

This is a commercial Coventry flag sold prior to the the City Council of Coventry registering their flag with the Flag Institute's UK Flag Registry in 2018.
Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021

Diocese of Coventry

[Diocese of Coventry Flag] Flag     [Diocese of Coventry Arms] Bishop's Coat of Arms
images from Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021

The Diocese of Coventry is a Church of England diocese in the Province of Canterbury. It is headed by the Bishop of Coventry, who sits at Coventry Cathedral in Coventry, and is assisted by one suffragan bishop, the Bishop of Warwick. The diocese covers Coventry and Warwickshire. The diocese was formed in 1918 from part of the Diocese of Worcester.
Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021

Coventry City Football Club (CCFC)

CCFC Badge, Patch, and Coat of Arms

[Coventry City Football Club] CCFC Badge [Coventry City Football Club] CCFC Patch [Coventry City Football Club] CCFC Coat of Arms
images from Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021

The Coventry City Football Club (CCFC) is a professional football club based in the city of Coventry. The team competes in the second Championship tier of the English football league. Their club home ground is the Coventry Building Society Arena where they play all their home matches. The team was first known as the "Singers" as they played for the Singer Motors Factory Gentleman's club, but adopted their current name in 1898. Today the club is nicknamed the "Sky Blues" because of the colour of their home uniforms.
Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021

Sky Blues Fan Flags

[Coventry City Football Club]     [Coventry City Football Club]

[Coventry City Football Club]     [Coventry City Football Club]

[Coventry City Football Club]     [Coventry City Football Club]

[Coventry City Football Club]     [Coventry City Football Club]
images from Pete Loeser, 11 September 2021