First Raising of the New Aberdeenshire County Flag in Huntly
By Experience Huntly on 30/05/2023
The new Aberdeenshire County flag was unveiled at a special dedication ceremony at The National Trust for Scotland’s Castle Fraser on Saturday 22nd April 2023 by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, Mr Sandy Manson.
The project was initiated in March 2022, when the Lord-Lieutenant discovered that while Aberdeenshire had a long-standing coat of arms, it did not have a county flag. Two Deputy Lieutenants, Mrs Jean Haslam and the late Mrs Miranda McHardy took this historic project forward, running an open competition to design a flag for Aberdeenshire.
The Press and Journal agreed to publicise, collect entries and manage the public voting. Workshops were run by Philip Tibbetts (Lyon Court Vexillologist for Scotland) during the first week in September 2022 in schools across the county. With the help of the Lord Lyon and Mr Tibbetts, a judging panel examined over 820 entries submitted in October, the largest ever response to a flag competition in Scotland. A short-list of five designs was selected that went to a public vote, with 4,208 votes cast.
At the ceremony at Castle Fraser, the winning designers, Eliana Irwin (12), Zara Sim (12), Meryn Wilson (11) and Iris Main (11) from Newtonhill School and Tristan Davidson (11) from Elrick School, Westhill presented the flag to Mr Manson and accompanied him to the top of the castle tower for the flag raising.
Mr Manson said: “It is wonderful to see this splendid County flag now unveiled for all to see and, I hope, the communities of Aberdeenshire, will be very proud as it flies over the county and will represent us at many prestigious national and international occasions in the future.”
As part of the celebration of the new County Flag, the Lord-Lieutenant wanted the flag to be flown at prominent ‘corners’ of the shire. To date flags have been flown in community ceremonies in Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Inverurie, Turriff and Braemar.
Huntly Community Council Chairman, Mr Tony Gill, was approached to co-ordinate a flag raising ceremony for the town. He was delighted to be able to represent the organisations and businesses of Huntly for this special recognition for the town. This coming Saturday, Deputy Lieutenant Major Grenville Irvine-Fortescue, will represent the Lord-Lieutenant at a short ceremony here in the town to raise its own flag.
Provost Judy Whyte and representatives of Community and Business Groups and Youth organisations have been invited to attend the ceremony which will take place at the Council offices at the junction of Gordon Street and Granary Street between 10.30am and 11.30am.
All welcome to attend and witness the first raising of the flag on the Aberdeenshire Council building at 25 Gordon Street in Huntly. Please gather on Granary Street to view the event.