Barra flag should legal stamp of approval

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Western Isls MSP Alasdair Allan, is working with the community on the Isle of Barra to petition the Lyon Court to ensure the island’s flag gains official recognition for the first time.

This follows a meeting on the issue in Barra where the idea gained public support from many islanders.

The recognisable green and white Scandinavian-style flag doesn’t yet have legal recognition, despite its widespread use in the local community.

The Court of the Lord Lyon, the legal authority on heraldry in Scotland, has the power to authorise community flags and ensure that only one community can use any one design.

Fellow SNP MSP Gail Ross successfully led a similar campaign in Caithness whilst she was a councillor.

Commenting, Alasdair Allan said: “It is great to see the local community in Barra showing interest in this idea.

“Ultimately, it’s up to the people of Barra themselves what they want to do next. The feeling at the initial meeting that I hosted earlier this month was that recognition of the flag would help boost the island’s marketing efforts as well as celebrate its unique identity.

“There is already widespread use of Barra’s flag, which can already be seen flying from fishing boats, on local produce and on car stickers.

“I look forward to seeing how people in Barra want to take this forward, and hope it will lead to a formal petition being made to the Lord Lyon.

“I believe Barra’s flag can help boost the area’s identity and economy.”

Phillip Tibbetts, Community Vexillologist at the Flag Institute, added: “It was an honour to visit Barra and talk on the benefits and process of recording a flag officially with the Lyon Court.

“I was very pleased that the idea was received so positively and look forward to supporting further progress.

“I was also very impressed to see how well the flag is already used around the island – whether that was in the Barra & Vatersay Bunting Project, car bumper stickers and especially as a ‘Made in Barra’ sticker in the local shops.

“I can’t wait to be back – and no doubt see an officially registered Barra flag flying.”