Preston is through to the final 12 of a new competition to find the UK’s top flag.Advertisement
The FA Cup of Flags is being run by the UK Flag Registry via Twitter polls, and seems to be appealing to both flag enthusiasts in isolation and sports fans missing a competitive fix.
Preston’s next match takes place on Wednesday 13 May, against West Midlands market town Willenhall. Voting will be open from 9am to 9pm on the Flag Institute’s Twitter page.
One person who has been following the competition with interest is Philip Tibbetts, the designer of the Preston flag.
Philip created the flag design ten years ago while living in Preston, after being inspired by his manager’s North End mug.
He said: “I designed the flag back in 2010. The Preston Civic Society liked it so much that they formally requested its registration with the Flag Institute, which was accepted in 2012. It got used on some merchandise a little too, with the Harris selling items like pencils with it on.”
In the previous round of the competition, Willenhall received 80 more votes than Preston, but Philip is hopeful that Preston can pull off an upset.
“It was fantastic to see the comments the Preston flag was getting in the last round, some called it the prettiest flag in the competition. It’s going to be a tough game – Willenhall have well-organised support and will be getting people voting I’m sure. But it’d be great if, whilst in lockdown, Preston could build a cup run!
“Personally it’s a lovely reminder of my time living in Preston. I guess this goes to show Preston never really leaves you!”
Read more: Share your experience of social distancing and become part of Preston’s history
According to the Flag Institute website:
“The Preston Flag is a community flag proclaiming the unique identity of this Lancashire city.
“The flag is white in reference to the Lilywhite nickname of Preston North End, while the navy blue references the stripes that appear in the traditional kits of both the football socks and rugby club strip shirts.
“The navy blue is formed of two crosses, which leaves a thin white gap between them. These represent how Preston is a transport hub central to Lancashire, being a crossroads for both the motorway and railway networks.
“The two crosses form the impression of a larger cross indicating the religious heritage of the town – the name Preston deriving from Priest’s Town. The paschal lamb, the traditional symbol of the city that recalls St Wilfrid, is placed on the centre of the cross.”
Other flags still in the competition include Penrith, Coventry and Newbury.
Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines
Will you be voting for Preston in the FA Cup of Flags? Let us know in the comments.