The first steps have been taken to create an official flag for the Isle of Skye – which will end with a public competition to find the best design.
The office of the Lord Lyon, which is the body responsible for recording and protecting all heraldry, flags and national symbols in Scotland, has been petitioned to register the idea following initial meetings involving the Free Press, Highland Council ward members and tourism promoters Skye Connect.
A steering group to take forward the process will involve representatives from local schools, volunteer, community and heritage groups. The Free Press plans to help run the competition.
In recent years several islands and mainland areas have created official flags as a publicly-available symbol which raises recognition and awareness of their area nation-wide.
An update on the flag project is due to be discussed at the council’s Skye and Raasay area ward business meeting in Portree next Friday.
Philip Tibbetts, honorary vexillologist with the Court of the Lord Lyon, said: “It is fantastic to see Skye become the latest community start the journey of developing its own flag to fly proudly alongside the Saltire. Given Skye’s iconic nature, the potential for both the design and subsequent usage of a flag for the island is incredible.
“Following the formal approach to the Lyon Court work can now begin to plan the timings and details of this out. It is intended that Skye will follow the best practice process established in Caithness and also used in, fellow Inner Hebridean island, Tiree.
“The appearance of unofficial design proposals for Skye already, since the concept was raised only a few months ago, shows the appetite and creativity of the islanders. I hope these budding vexillographers submit their designs when the competition opens and I look forward to offering my support to other individuals, schools and community groups.”
Skye councillor John Finlayson said: “I have had lots of positive feedback about the plans for a flag for Skye and I am delighted we have made such good progress with the idea. I am excited to see what designs will come forward, and having a competition that encourages people of all ages to submit their designs is absolutely the right thing to do.”