Public vote launched for Sutherland flag after judges' winner receives backlash

A public vote has been launched to pick a Highland communities official flag, after the decision of a judging panel received a backlash.

The new flag. Picture: The Northern Times

Sutherland’s banner was revealed in January by the Flag Institute, depicting a swooping eagle with three stars on a red and yellow background.

In March, it was announced the decision would be revisited after criticism over the design and selection process.

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The institute has now unveiled four flags which are in the running to be made the historic county’s official banner - including the former winner.

Philip Tibbetts, honorary vexillologist to the Court of the Lord Lyon, said: “I look forward to seeing which design the public choose and fully commend the competition organisers for setting this vote up so rigorously.

“This vote follows the highest standards used elsewhere and brings the whole competition in line with the others in Scotland to date.

“All the finalists will make superb, bold flags and they showcase the rich range of heritage that the county enjoys.”

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The original judging panel chose from a set of finalists from over 350 entries sent in during the competition, before picking one.

This vote has returned to those four designs and all have now been approved by the Flag Institute and the Lord Lyon as meeting design requirements.

Those taking part in the ballot are supposed to live or work in Sutherland and include their name and address to allow for validation.

Up to 10% of votes may be checked to verify eligibility.

The institute said it hopes no co-ordinated campaigning will take place and the competition runs until Monday November 26.