Flag adopted by Bedfordshire in 2014
Historic County Flags Day (today 23 July 2019) is an opportunity to celebrate the nation’s historic counties through the flying of flags.
In 2012 the government changed the rules to allow local and county flags to be flown without planning permission. In 2014 planning guidance was issued allowing councils to put up traditional counties boundary signs and the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 allows the signing of historic county boundaries.
A government statement said that history helps to define who we are and where we come from, and we are stronger as a nation when we cherish and champion our local traditions.
It added that by understanding the past and how we have developed helps us to face the future with confidence and as a shared experience.
Both Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough Councils flew Bedfordshire’s flag to mark the event. Bedford Borough Mayor, Dave Hodgson, said:
“Bedfordshire is a small yet diverse county with a rich history and culture, and I’m proud that Bedford is the county town. We’ll be flying the Bedfordshire flag with pride on Historic County Flags Day, just as we do on Bedfordshire Day on 28th November.
“However, we should also promote Bedfordshire and all of its fantastic communities throughout the year. With its heritage, its beautiful countryside and vibrant towns, there’s a lot to celebrate.”
Bedfordshire’s flag is based on the banner of the arms of the former Bedfordshire County Council. This was granted the arms in 1951 by the College of Arms. It was adopted as the county’s flag in September 2014.
The red and yellow quadrants on the flag come from the coat of arms of the Beauchamp family. This was a prominent family in the county after the Norman Conquest. The three shells on a black field are from the arms of the Russells, the Dukes of Bedford. The blue & white wavy stripes refer to the River Ouse.