|Design||Three Saxon seaxes on a red field|
The earliest references to the flag being used to represent the county date back to the 17th century. A Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, written in 1605 by Richard Verstegan, referred to the Anglo-Saxons bearing a standard of "Three seaxes argent, in a field gules". Similarly, cartographer John Speed included the flag in his 1611 atlas The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine.
Sir Winston Churchill also included the three seaxes as being representative of Essex in his 1675 work Divi Britannici. As a result of this, the symbol was installed on a stained glass window in Westminster Abbey in 1735.
By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the flag saw widespread usage throughout the county, appearing on buildings and infrastructure in numerous settlements.
In 1889, Essex County Council adopted the flag as its own symbol.
The Flag Institute formally recognised the flag's relationship with the county in the early 21st century.
The Pantone colours for the flag are:
- Red 485
- Yellow 116
- "Essex flag". British County Flags. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- Churchill, Sir Winston (1675). Divi Britannici being a remark upon the lives of all the kings of this isle from the year of the world 2855, unto the year of grace 1660. London: Roycroft. p. 117.
- "Essex". The Flag Institute. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
- "Essex flag flies in the heart of government". GOV.UK. 27 October 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
- "UK Flag Registry: Essex".