The Cockermouth Civic Trust has been working with Philip Tibbetts ,MA, designing a flag for Cockermouth. Philip is the Assistant to the Chief Vexillologist of the Flag Institute and an Advisor to the Parliamentary Flags and Heraldry Committee.
In the design we wanted to show the confluence of the two rivers, the castle and a reference to famous sons of Cockermouth. Any design had to be simple enough to translate into stylised heraldic artwork, and it hadn’t to be too detailed so it could be seen when the flag is flown on the top of a building.
Many designs and combinations of symbols were considered and the final design is attached.
The blue pall represents the converging rivers. A representation of the castle is placed between the rivers as in reality. Two other symbols are used – a daffodil and an estoile (star shape). The idea is that in the three partitions of the flag we have a castle which symbolises the history of Cockermouth, the daffodil which symbolises the town’s artistic legacy (representing Wordsworth) and the estoile which symbolises the scientific legacy (representing both the stars of astronomy for Fearon Fallows as well as the atomic furnace of the sun representing John Dalton).
Philip has spoken to the Chief Vexillogist and on the whole he was happy with the design and agrees with the overall layout and symbolism. He just suggested a couple of tweaks to the colour scheme with the aim of increasing the contrast and these have been incorporated in the final design.
I would add that the registration of the flag with the Flag Institute is subject to the Chief Vexillologist accepting the design.
We think that a flag unique to Cockermouth would be an asset to the town. Once registered, it could possibly be flown on top of the Town Hall and miniatures could be provided for visitors.
The design has been sent to the Town Council, the Museum Group, the Chamber of Trade, Wordsworth House, the Dowager Lady Egremont, the Lorton & Derwent Fells Local History Group and some members of the Civic Trust as part of the consultation procedure. So far the feedback has been positive.