Exmoor’s flag was unveiled on the 29th of October 2014 at a historic ceremony at Minehead Station where the flag arrived blazoned on a West Somerset Railway steam train.
The creation of a flag for Exmoor was the brainchild of Ceri & Tony Keene and Edward & Julie Christian friends from the village of Brushford near Dulverton. Following the success of national celebrations such as the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee they felt that Exmoor needed its own emblem for people to express their pride in their community and to promote Exmoor’s rich and varied landscape across the globe. The creation of the Exmoor Flag coincided with the Exmoor National Park Authority’s celebrations of its 60th anniversary.
The friends set up The Exmoor Flag Project (EFP) to facilitate an open to all, free to enter competition to democratically design and select the winning flag. The Exmoor Flag Project was financially supported by The Exmoor National Park’s Partnership Fund. The competition was launched on the 16th of June 2014 with a special flag assembly presented by Exmoor resident Robin Ashburner former President of The Flag Institute and hosted by Dulverton Middle School. The competition was promoted with posters in every village and town across greater Exmoor, a social media campaign, regional and local press coverage and interviews on radio including BBC Radio Devon and Somerset, with even a mention by Steve Wright on BBC Radio 2.
261 design entries were received, all of which expressed the creator’s own passion and view of Exmoor. The youngest entrant was aged 2 and the oldest was 93 years old. Entries were received from both individuals and community groups including schools, retirement homes and art groups, and from all over the world from as far away as America and Australia. The entries can be viewed at www.exmoorflag.co.uk
The shortlisting judging panel was made up of well known Exmoor people and representatives from key organisations such as The Flag Institute, Exmoor National Park, The Exmoor Magazine, The Exmoor Society, the EFP team, Robin Ashburner and Johnny Kingdom. 5 designs were selected and adapted to comply with the Flag Institute’s guidelines. 858 members of the public voted for their favourite design either electronically via the website or by post.
The winning design was created by Jenny Stevens from London who has been holidaying on Exmoor since she was a child. Her flag shows the varied terrain of Exmoor – its coast, footpaths, moorland, forests and the wildlife represented by the famous red deer stag. The star highlights Exmoor’s International Dark Sky Reserve status.
The Exmoor Flag is registered as an official United Kingdom flag by The Flag Institute and is free to fly and use the image by anyone wishing to celebrate their affiliation and love of this beautiful unique corner of Britain. Exmoor Flags and flag related gifts and products are available to purchase in selected retailers across the region and online at the Exmoor Flag website www.exmoorflag.co.uk/shop.