COMPETITION UPDATE #2 (18 June 2013): Additional term which applies to the competition with immediate effect as follows:-

In consideration of entries into the Competition, the place in history and the prize of £250 (receipt of which the winner shall expressly acknowledge by signing a Waiver agreement), the Winner agrees to waive unconditionally, absolutely and irrevocably all moral and copyright related rights as the creator of the artwork for the Flag of Somerset (“Flag Artwork”) to which he/she is entitled to under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 as amended from time to time whether in the United Kingdom or throughout the world under all similar legislation from time to time in force anywhere in the world in respect of the Flag Artwork.

COMPETITION UPDATE: The deadline for entries has been extended until midday on May 31 - and anyone born in Somerset can enter the competition. If shortlisted, entrants will be asked to submit a copy of their birth certificate as proof.

YOU could earn a place in history – and £250 – by designing Somerset’s flag.

We have teamed up with Pardoes solicitors to launch a competition to create a county flag and we need YOUR help.

Somerset is the only county in the westcountry not to have a flag – so it’s time to put that right!

We’re inviting budding artists or anyone with a sense of county pride to send us their design as part of the competition.

Somerset County Council’s head of heritage, Tom Mayberry, and international flag expert Robin Ashburner, who lives in Somerset, will be among those judging the entries before we hand the final decision to the people of the county to vote for their favourite from a shortlist.

The dragon – not wyvern – often seen as the Somerset flag, actually belongs to Somerset County Council, which was granted arms by the College of Arms in 1911 of a red dragon holding a civic mace on a gold background. Its motto is Sumorsaete Ealle, roughly translated as ‘all the people of Somerset’.

Head of marketing at Pardoes, Nigel Muers-Raby, said: “We are delighted to be a part of creating a flag for the county – for the first time ever. This is a fantastic chance to show the rest of the world what Somerset is made off.”

Alex Cameron, editor of Newsquest Somerset, publisher of this website, added: “Our wonderful county is a place to be proud of, so let’s create a flag we can call our own. We hope this captures the imagination of the people of Somerset and that as many people as possible, including schools and colleges, get involved.”

Mr Mayberry said: “Somerset has never adopted its own flag although the dragon is an ancient and important symbol and Somerset is lucky to have it.”

Judges will be looking for an eye-catching, symbolic design that everyone in the county would be proud to fly. There is a bottle of bubbly each for two runners-up.

The competition is being run by Somerset County Gazette, Bridgwater Mercury, Chard and Ilminster News, Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News, and

How the competition came about

Back in February, the Somerset County Gazette newspaper published a news brief about Pardoes flying the ‘Somerset flag’ above its Taunton offices at Creech Castle.

That prompted a Postbag letter from Adam Thomas, of Bishops Lydeard, correctly pointing out that the symbol on the Pardoes flag was the dragon holding a civic mace, and hence related to Somerset County Council rather than the county.

Pardoes and the County Gazette teamed up to create a flag for the county after learning there is no official one.

Ideas to kickstart your creativity:

  • A dragon – it’s a cracking symbol already associated with the county and a symbol of the Anglo-Saxon kings of Wessex.
  • Apples – drawing on the county’s cider-making heritage.
  • Cheese – we’re famous for it.
  • Green – the colour of the lush hills.
  • Blue – the famous Somerset Levels are designed to flood and we have some rugged and beautiful coastline.
  • Red and gold – the colours granted to the county council and also used by the Anglo-Saxon kings of Wessex.
  • Pink – Dianthus gratianopolitanus – the Cheddar Pink – was chosen as the county flower of Somerset in 2002 following a poll by wild flora conservation charity Plantlife.
  • Visit the Museum of Somerset in Taunton.


Design your flag on a piece of A4 paper.

Entries should be sent to the Somerset County Gazette office in St James Street, Taunton TA1 1JR. They can also be handed into the offices of Pardoes in Bridgwater (West Quay House, Northgate, Bridgwater TA6 3EU) or Yeovil (Glenthorne House, 38 Princes Street, Yeovil BA20 1EJ).

Entries can also be scanned and emailed to

The deadline for entries is May 31 (extended from May 22).

Include your name, address, age and a daytime phone number with the entry.

Judges – so far Robin Ashburner, past president of the Flag Institute; Tom Mayberry, head of heritage at Somerset County Council, Brig Christopher Wolverson, a Somerset Deputy Lieutenant; Nigel Muers- Raby, of Pardoes; and Alex Cameron, editor of the Somerset County Gazette series – will meet to shortlist entries, after which the final designs will be published for the people of Somerset to choose their favourite via a public vote. The one getting the most votes will be unfurled as the winner at a ceremony in July. The winner will also receive a £250 prize.

Terms and conditions: Entrants must live or work or go to school or be born in Somerset, as defined by the areas administered by Somerset County Council, Bath & North East Somerset and North Somerset. Entrants from people who were born in Somerset but now living outside the above area will be asked to submit a copy of their birth certificate if their entry is shortlisted. We reserve the right to edit entries.

Normal Newsquest competition rules apply – for details click on