Flag of Orkney
|Design||A yellow-fimbriated blue Nordic cross on a red field|
|Designed by||Duncan Tullock|
The Flag of Orkney was the winner of a public flag consultation in February and March 2007. In the flag consultation the people of Orkney were asked for their preferred design from a short list of 5, all of which had been approved by the Court of the Lord Lyon. The chosen design was that of Duncan Tullock of Birsay, which polled 53% of the 200 votes cast by the public.
The colours red and yellow are from the Scottish and Norwegian royal coats of arms, which both use yellow and red, with a lion rampant. The flag symbolises the islands' Scottish and Norwegian heritage. The blue is taken from the flag of Scotland and also represents the sea and the maritime heritage of the islands.
Former flag of Orkney
The previous unofficial flag of Orkney was created in the mid-1990s and attributed to St Magnus, a yellow field with a red Nordic cross. St Magnus (Magnus Erlendsson) was Earl of Orkney from 1108 to 1117. However, there is nothing to connect him to the red cross on yellow. This flag has no official status, having been declined recognition by the Lord Lyon, the heraldic authority of Scotland, due to similarity with the Arms of Ulster (themselves adopted from the de Burgh Arms). Historically, the red cross on yellow is associated with the flag of the Kalmar Union, a medieval Scandinavian state of which Orkney was a part.