Tiree Flag Finalists Chosen

The Tiree Flag Competition has four finalists. The month-long competition attracted an extraordinary 261 entries from as far afield as Canada, Switzerland and South Uist, as well as many from Glasgow and the island itself.

Some were sketched in crayon, some carefully hand-drawn, and some produced to the highest design standards. The quality was extremely high, with twenty or thirty exceptional designs.

The committee was led by the Lord Lyon, Scotland’s flag authority, and Philip Tibbetts from the Flag Institute, both experienced in community flag competitions. It went about its business in a methodical way, grouping the entries into groups.

Simple designs were favoured, and it was stressed that flags should be timeless: they should be as beautiful and relevant in a hundred years time as they are today. The commonest design was a variant of the Nordic cross, an off-centre cross used by Nordic countries such as Norway and Iceland, and more recently by Shetland, Orkney, Barra and South Uist. The second commonest design used stripes, often using blue, yellow and green, to symbolise the flat, fertile island and the long sandy beaches. Others used the shape of a wave, the sun, the corncrake and the Tiree black-roofed houses to convey the essence of the island.

The committee, which also included Dr John Holliday, Ian Gillies, Lachie Brown, Rosemary Omand, Donna MacLean and Annine MacLean argued over the merits of the different entries for four hours, before coming to a conclusion, although the debate continued over the finer details for over a week.

We hope to have the finalists’ designs flying at the Agricultural Show in July, and voting will be open to the public then.

We want, however, to give people a chance to see the designs before then, so we have put them up in colour on our website http://tireeflag.com.

Surprisingly for something so simple, you need to look at a flag for a long time to really appreciate it. The committee really appreciates the time and effort put into the competition by those who entered: they all contributed to the success of the project. Now over to you!

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