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Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire (England)

Last modified: 2011-12-17 by rob raeside
Keywords: royal wootton bassett | wiltshire | wootton bassett |
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[Flag of Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, England] image by André Coutanche, 17 October 2011 

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Description of the flag

The Telegraph reported:

4:21PM BST 16 Oct 2011
The Princess Royal told the thousands of people lining the high street of the small market town, which has been recognised for its role in remembering fallen war heroes, that they had "set an example that others wanted to follow". The Princess Royal, who delivered the rare award of the Letters Patent on behalf of the Queen to make the name change to Royal Wootton Bassett official, said it was a "town rich in tradition and secure in its sense of values....
The flag bearer broke the new Royal Wootton Bassett flag, a ceremonial and historic moment when the new flag is raised for the first time, before the town's new coat of arms was blessed by Canon Thomas Woodhouse.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/8830140/Princess-Anne-says-Wootton-Bassett-has-set-an-example-for-the-nation.html

And the Guardian tells us:
As well as the speeches, the new road signs, the flag flown for the first time with the new coat of arms incorporating a golden lion - a symbol of England and royalty since medieval times - there was an exhibition at the library of gifts sent to the town from all over the world, a specially commissioned souvenir tea towel and a baking competition to create a new bun, The Bassett Crown.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/16/royal-wootten-bassett-celebrites-title?newsfeed=true

Finally the Express provides an image of the road sign, with the coat of arms
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/277890/Royal-salute-for-Wootton-Bassett-the-town-that-set-an-example-to-us-all-
http://images.dailyexpress.co.uk/img/dynamic/1/285x214/277890_1.jpg
Rob Raeside, 17 October 2011

The question which occurred to me was whether the 'new' flag was a banner of arms or just the shield on a bedsheet. Googling around suggests the following:

1) The phrasing used by the 'Telegraph' appears widely; it is the usual journalistic practice of quoting what is probably a press release without attribution.

2) The town already had arms - they appear on its website at http://www.woottonbassett.gov.uk/ - but what is 'new' is the substitution of the lower lozenge with a lion. This is confirmed by the latest newsletter at the College of Arms website at http://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/Newsletter/030.pdf. The blazon is: 'Gules a Chevron Argent between in chief two Lozenges and in base a Lion passant guardant Or.' The blazon doesn't state 'armed and langued azure' but the drawing shows them that way.

3) The flag-wavers being used by the crowd at the ceremony were pukka banners of arms. They appear (briefly) in the video clip at http://www.itv.com/news/royal-wootton-bassett66597/ and are also seen clearly on the BBC's website at http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/56089000/jpg/_56089979_hi013164603.jpg.

André Coutanche, 17 October 2011


 
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