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The Guernsey Flag

Guernsey Flag

Since 1985 the people of Guernsey have been able to fly the island's own flag - a red Cross of St George superimposed with a gold cross of distinctive shape.

How old is the Guernsey flag?

This flag was only 'born' in 1985. Before then, Guernsey used a simple Cross of St George. However, this led to confusion with its use as the English flag.  For example, at the Commonwealth Games English and Guernsey teams used the same flag, leading other competitors to believe England had two teams!

Who chose the design?

The States of Guernsey decided that a new flag was needed. A Committee was set up under the chairmanship of the then Deputy Bailiff, Sir Graham Dorey.  There followed a great deal of thought and discussion about its design.

What do the different colours stand for?

The red cross is the Cross of St George and the gold cross represents the one shown on the gonfanon (banner) of William the Conqueror, which appears on the Bayeux Tapestry.  The red Cross of St George also forms the basis of the Alderney and Sark Flags, and therefore provides a common theme for the flags used in the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

What does the flag represent?

It provides an historic link to the time when Guernsey was part of the Duchy of Normandy, governed by William the Conqueror. But it also reflects the Island's present-day independence and its long constitutional relationship with the English Crown. Her Majesty The Queen granted a Royal Warrant for the flag. Its Blazon (official description) is: "Argent a Cross Gules thereon a Guernsey Cross (being a representation of the Cross on the banner of William of Normandy ) Gold. "

When was the flag first flown?

On 9th May 1985,  the 40th anniversary of the island's Liberation from Second World War Occupation. Its bold and bright design can be seen on all festive occasions.  Although Guernsey's own flag is generally used, the Union Flag is flown from public buildings on designated days, such as the Queen's Birthday. And it is also flown every day from the top of Castle Cornet, to signify the Castle's historical connections with the British Army.

Does Guernsey have its own Arms?

Yes.  The Arms of Guernsey derive from those of England and a seal granted by King Edward I in 1279 for use in the Channel Islands . The Guernsey shield is distinguished from the English Arms (and the Jersey Arms) by having a sprig, which originally formed the stop marking the division between the beginning and end of the motto S'Ballivie Insule De Gernereye, (The Bailiwick of Guernsey) which ran around the shield.

The Shield is commonly but incorrectly referred to as the 'Guernsey Crest'. Guernsey 's ten parishes also have their own shields.

  • Guernsey Arms
  • Guernsey Arms 2