“We are stronger as a society when we celebrate the ties that bind us together. I want to send a strong signal – we should fly our flags with pride. Whatever one’s class, colour or creed, let’s have pride in Britain’s local and national identities.” So said Eric Pickles from the Department for Communities and Local Government as he clutched the new flag along with Andrew Lovett, Director and Chief Executive at the Black Country Living Museum.
Mr Pickles went on to say “Today it is right to celebrate the Black Country, one of England’s industrial giants.” For those confused about precisely where the Black Country is, it is an area defined by geology, a 30ft thick seam of coal, although today we have embraced it as the four boroughs.
The Black Country flag was designed by eleven year old Gracie Sheppard of Redhill School in Stourbridge. Her inspiration came from Elihu Burrit, the American Consul to Birmingham, when he described the region as “black by day and red by night”.
The flag features a chain to represent the manufacturing heritage of the area whilst the upright triangular shape in the background recalls the iconic glass cones and iron furnaces that featured in the architectural landscape of the area.
From a Net perspective, the flag says a lot about ‘together’ …?