Isle of Skye flag: These 6 entries make official shortlist

It is home to some of Scotland’s most majestic landscapes, with its jagged mountains and sparkling lochs attracting tourists from home and further afield.

Now the public is to have its say on how best to capture the splendour of the Isle of Skye in cloth and ink.

A competition to create an official flag for the Hebridean island has whittled down 369 entries to a shortlist of six, with voting now under way to declare an overall winner.

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From riffs on the island’s shared Norse and Celtic heritage to bold, modernist interpretations of its imposing Cuillin Ridge, the designs are diverse as the scenery of Skye itself.

Portree on the Isle of Skye. Pic: Getty

Only one, however, will be formally approved by Scotland’s heraldic authority, the Court of the Lord Lyon.

The initiative, organised by the West Highland Free Press newspaper, echoes similar projects to create bespoke flags representing the likes of Barra and Caithness,

The hundreds of entries included submissions by primary school pupils on the island, as well as budding vexillologists from Edinburgh and Glasgow.

A judging panel, which included historian Cailean Maclean, spent a day sifting though the entries.

Six entries have made the shortlist.

One of the shortlisted flags, created by Rory Flyn, from Sleat on Skye, offered what judges described as a “distinctive take” on the traditional Nordic cross.

Another on the shortlist, by Calum Alasdair Munro, from Kilmuir on the island, features a birlinn with five oars, a flourish which represents the five wings of Skye pulling together.

With voting open until the end of the month, the triumphant design will be announced in the spring.

Philip Tibbetts, honorary vexillologist with the Court of the Lord Lyon , toured schools on Skye to encourage children to take part in the contest.

He said he was impressed at the high standard of designs on show.

“The people of Skye truly delivered on the huge potential of the island’s heritage,” he explained.

“Hundreds of designs came in, drawing on elements from Sky’s name to sporting traditions, from geography to folklore, and from history to its wildlife and more.”

He added: “The finalists cover many of these various facets to Skye.

“It was fantastic to see so many locals, especially pupils, from across Skye make the finals.”