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Barra flag gains official recognition after campaign

The Scandanavian-style banner has been approved by Scotland's heraldic body.

Barra: Residents have flown the flag from buildings for decades.
Barra: Residents have flown the flag from buildings for decades. Alasdair Allan

The Hebridean island of Barra has had its flag officially recognised following a campaign by islanders.

The green and white Scandinavian-style banner has now been approved by the Lyon Court, the heraldic authority for Scotland.

Residents have flown the flag from buildings for decades and a meeting was held in December last year to discuss its official recognition.

Philip Tibbetts, of the Flag Institute, a charity which registers flags, said the approval could serve as an example to other communities that wish to develop their own flags.

He said: "It is wonderful to see the Barra flag achieve official recognition with the Lyon Court, having been used so extensively over the years.

"In this past year Barra has shown the importance that a flag can have for its community - not only as a celebration but also as a symbol to rally around."

'In this past year Barra has shown the importance that a flag can have for its community - not only as a celebration but also as a symbol to rally around.'
Philip Tibbetts, of the Flag Institute

He added: "As such it has been both an honour and humbling to have assisted Barra since I was first invited to the island last year.

"I am sure it will serve as a powerful example to the many other communities thinking of developing their own flag to promote their own identity and the patchwork of national heritage."

The bid to gain official recognition for the flag was championed by community councillor Dolina Manford.

She said: "I am very happy to see that the Barra flag has now received official recognition from the Lord Lyon.

"It has been a long process but now the green and white Nordic cross that has been used in Barra for a number of years is officially registered at the Lord Lyon."

The Nordic cross on the flag represents Barra's Scandinavian heritage, while the green represents its landscape.

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