The Friends of Bedfordshire Society are proud to promote the use of our counties glorious flag.
The flag has three main elements, firstly, the red and yellow quadrants which come from the coat of arms of the Beauchamp family, who were a prominent family in the county after the Norman Conquest. They also constructed Bedford Castle and were granted a barony at Bedford.
Secondly, the vertical black stripe which takes the centre of the flag containing three shells, or escallops. This comes from the coat of arms of the Duke of Bedford.
Thirdly, the horizontal blue and white wavy lines. These represent the river Great Ouse which passes through the county.
Previous to the current flag Bedfordshire County Council had a flag which was based on its coat of arms. Specifically, it took the banner (shield shaped bit) from the middle of the coat of arms and used the design for its flag.
In 2009 Bedfordshire County Council was disbanded and replaced by two unitary authorities, Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire, joining Luton Borough which had been administratively independent since 1997. This has meant that since then the flag of the county council has been ‘in limbo’. We suggested that with very minor tweaks to the design the flag should be recognised as a symbol that stands for the whole county and everything in it, not just the council. The symbolism of the flag is perfect for Bedfordshire, containing both historic and geographical references to the area. It is a striking and unique design which is easily recognisable and flies well as a flag. Further to this the flag is already recognised within the county as a symbol of Bedfordshire.
On 11th September 2014 the Flag Institute officially recognised Bedfordshire’s flag. They recognised the geography and history represented in the flag as well as the use of the design within the county. As well as this they recognised the will of the people in the form of the support for the campaign organised by the Friends of Bedfordshire, which gained support from many sources including the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire.