But for those unfamiliar with Yorkshire and its history, here’s everything you need to know about the Yorkshire flag, what it looks like and what it represents.
What does the Yorkshire flag look like and what does it represent?
Famously, the white rose, also known as the “mystical rose of heaven”, is the central element of the flag.
The rose is placed on a sky blue background. It was requested by the Yorkshire Ridings Society and was registered by the Flag Institute just 13 years ago.
According to the Yorkshire Ridings Society, the flag represents all that is strong and resilient about Yorkshire, its people and also offers a symbol of hope in troubled times.
The flag was designed in the 1960s but was not adopted until 1975 when the newly founded Yorkshire Ridings Society used it to help protect the names and identities of former Yorkshire ridings, which were abolished by government in 1974.
How many flags does Yorkshire have?
Three Yorkshire counties have their own flags based on the main flag of Yorkshire.
East Riding of Yorkshire – this flag was registered by the Flag Institute on April 18, 2013, as the winner of a competition held in conjunction with it. The flag features a white Yorkshire rose in the middle displayed in the East Ridings style with a sepal at the top, with a blue and green bicolour background. The blue symbolizes the locality’s connection to the whole of Yorkshire, while the green represents its position to the east of the region.
North Riding of Yorkshire – This flag was registered by the Flag Institute on May 4, 2013. The yellow-edged blue cross represents the colors of the coat of arms attributed to the local saint, Wilfred, a prominent figure in the area’s ancient history. It is placed on a green field, the three colors refer to the natural characteristics of the North Riding; green represents the wide expanses of the famous North York Moors National Park, while blue and yellow reflect the North Sea coastline.
West Riding of Yorkshire – It was created by the Flag Institute on 23 May 2013. The flag features a “rose-en-soleil” device first used by Edward IV upon his accession to the throne, combining the white rose of the House of York with the emblem of the sun used by his royal predecessor, Richard II. The rose-en-soleil is a more elaborate form of the white rose emblem; the rose is set against a Scandinavian-style red cross, representing the area’s Anglo-Scandinavian history.
What is the White Rose of York?
The white rose is an ancient symbol of purity with religious connotations; it was used by Plantagenet supporters of the House of York in the 14th century and represented a famous side in the Wars of the Roses.
It was first used as a heraldic badge by Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York (1341-1402), the fourth surviving son of King Edward III of England. One of his older brothers, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster (1340-1399), used a red rose as his heraldic badge. Their descendants fought for control of the throne of England. The Wars of the Roses were ended by King Henry VII of England who, when he married Elizabeth of York, symbolically united white and red roses to create the Tudor rose.
White roses were also worn by soldiers of Yorkshire regiments in memory of their fallen comrades at the Battle of Minden in 1759 on August 1 – this date is now established as Yorkshire Day.