The island of Tiree lies in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. While it may only have a population of 650 people, it has decided (quite rightly) that it needs a flag! They welcomed entries from all over the world, before a panel of flag and local history experts selected 4 finalists. The public were then asked to choose their favourite in an online poll.
Before we dive into the flags, please note: The traditional name of the island is ‘Tìr an Eòrna’, which translates to ‘Land of Barley’. This is in reference to the highly fertile soil on the island. Remember that, because it is about to become important!
These were the four final flags selected by the Tiree flag panel. Let’s dive into what they mean!
The first finalist features four horizontal bars; blue, white, green and yellow. The blue represents the sky and the sea, which the little island is in abundance of. In the sky are clouds, and on the shore of the sea beaches – both of which are what the white band represents. Remember the traditional name of the island? The fertility is what the green refers to, while the yellow is ripe barley. The order of the bands can also be interpreted as showing “land below the waves”, which is another nickname for Tiree.
This finalist is a clever fusion of two aspects of Tiree’s long history. First of all, it features a Nordic cross to show the island’s viking heritage. It is intertwined with a Celtic cross of the Early Christian Church, which had ties to Tiree. The white field represents the beaches of the island’s perimeter, while the blue represents the sky and sea.
At first, this flag may seem a little…. off. It is made up of 5 bands of differing sizes, which looks somewhat peculiar on first glance. However, it is actually quite ingenious! The green represents a thin strip of fertile land, surrounded by yellow beaches, and blue sea. The flag is showing the perspective of a pilot coming in to land on the island!
And the winner is... Flag D
Yes, conveniently for the layout of this article, Flag D has been announced as the winner! It will now proudly fly over Tiree as the first official flag of the island. But what does it represent? Well, the crop shown on the flag is barley, which we know the island is named after. The barley ears are arranged into a circular pattern to represent the sun, as the island is known for getting a lot of sunlight during the summer months! The green field represents the fertile land.
Which flag would you have voted for? Did the best flag win? Let us know down in the comments! We would love to hear from you!