The present flag of Guernsey was adopted in 1985 and consists of the red cross of St. George with an additional gold cross within it. The change was prompted by confusion at international sporting events over competitors from Guernsey and England using the same flag. It was designed by the Guernsey Flag Investigation Committee chaired by the then Deputy Bailiff Sir Graham Martyn Dorey and first flew in the island on 15 February 1985. The gold cross represents Duke William of Normandy, who, it is claimed, had such a cross on his flag in the Battle of Hastings, given to him by Pope Alexander II. A red ensign with the cross in the fly is used as civil ensign.
The gold cross is said to have appeared on the Gonfalon (a banner) of William of Normandy at the battle of Hastings in 1066, and can be seen on the Bayeux tapestry.
Prior to this the plain St George's cross was used. As this could be confused with the same flag as used by England it was felt a distinguishing design should be used.
There is some evidence that there was an earlier design based on the White Ensign, but with the white background replaced by a blue and white chequered motif. This appeared in some contemporary engravings of the unveiling of the Albert statue in 1863, and on some commemorative china of the time. A report of the time referred to it as "Mr. Tupper's blue and white chequered flag" - possibly Ferdinand Brock Tupper. This may have been an unofficial design that gained some recognition for a time.
An ensign also exists for Guernsey vessels. This consists of the Red Ensign with the gold cross of William in the fly.
The flag can be seen (above that of Jersey) in the current logo of Donkipedia.
The previous flag of Guernsey was the St George's Cross. Guernsey was permitted to use it in 1936 for its state flag. However, there is evidence to suggest the existence of a previous Guernsey flag, used in the mid-19th century. This was a St George's cross on a blue-and-white chequered field, with the Union Flag in canton. Further details of its use and official status remain doubtful, however.
- ↑ Le Conte, David, Designing the Flag, Review of the Guernsey Society, Spring 1996, Vol LII No 1
- ↑ Nicolls, Bruce, A New Flag for Guernsey, Review of the Guernsey Society, Winter 1985, Vol XLI No 3
- ↑ Bailiwick of Guernsey - Flags of the World web site
Flag of Guernsey - wikipedia entry