Society For Poole

Poole Flag

Poole Flag
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The Poole Flag – A history to be proud of

The design of the Flag is based on the 14th century Poole Town Council Seal. In Elizabethan times the College of Arms confirmed that it can be used by the inhabitants of Poole. Shown below is a design still incorporated into Poole Council’s Coat of Arms some six hundred years later.

All the elements in the design of the flag are figurative:-
The wavy bars represent the sea. Yellow and black were reintroduced into the Council’s Coat of Arms in the early 20th century, as seen on the older lifting bridge. Previously black and green wavy stripes were displayed, or blue and white. In heraldry yellow and gold (referred to as “or”) permitted either to be displayed.

Coats of Arms tell stories, the incorporation of the black scallop shells depicted on the flag have for centuries been the badge worn by Christian pilgrims who visited Saint James’ shrine at Compostella in Spain. St James shrine was one of the three most important Christian shrines. St James is the patron saint of Poole Town’s parish church. Poole ships were licensed to take pilgrims to Spain.

The flag displays a dolphin and in heraldry it is the king of “fishes” as the lion is the king of beasts. The crown of the heir to the King of France was referred to as the Dauphin (dolphin) and dolphins were depicted in his crown. lt is not known why Poole earned the right to display a dolphin. Poole’s scallop shell is depicted in black as a local medieval king ordered scallop shells to be sculptured from black jet, a local stone.

Confirmation of Arms circa 1563

Theis be ye armes app’taininge and belonginge to the Maire, Baylyfes burgesyes and lnhabitance_of the towne of Poole and to all the Corporacio’ of the Same; wch inhabitaunce of the said towne of Poole as appered by auncynt chartyers to me in my vicitac’o’ shewen were incorporated by William Longespe Erle of Saru’ by the name of Porte Ryue (Port Reeve) baylyfe and burgesyes of his towne of Poole, persell of his Manor of Candford, wch Corporacio’ was Ratyfyed Aumplified and Co’firmed by William Monteacute Erle of Saru’, by ye name of his Mayre baylyfe and burgesyes of his Said toune and borough of Poole, which towne and burrough of Poole is now the inheritaunce of James blunte (Blount), knyghte, Lord Mountioye, as in the right of his said manner of Candford. The whiche armes aboue set forthe I Clarencieulx kynge of Armes haue Ratified and confirmed unto the Mayre baylyfe burgesyes and inhabitantes of ye Said towne and burough of Poole in this my p’sent visitacion wthin ye Cowntye of Dors’ and at this p’sent: William bydelcom Mayre; Ambrosse benet baylyfe; Xpofer(Christopher) Rosse and Peter Gaydon Constables; John Aman, John Northerell, Thom’s Gyllford, John Davys, William Newman, Thom’s Byngley, Richard Goddarde, William Grene, John Hancok burgesys.

News of changes in promoting the Poole Flag

For some ten years or so our Society has been supporting the Poole Flag Trust Ltd who sought, as a charitable company, to promote the identity of Poole (its sense of “Place”, as local authority planners might say) by encouraging the flying of the Poole Flag. It is stressed that the Poole Flag (based upon the 14th century seal of Poole Town Council) is unique since its existence predates The College of Arms and was confirmed as being granted to the inhabitants of Poole, not just the Mayor and other dignitaries. A copy of this ‘confirmation’ follows.

Unfortunately, as you may know, the Board of Directors controlling the above company suffered very badly during the pandemic. This has recently ensured the closure of their company. However, their activities, largely led by Robin Moy and John Cole (also stalwarts of our Society), ensured that 1) the local council (owner of most flag poles in Poole) authorized the inclusion of the Poole Flag within the portfolio of flags it can fly and 2) Poole Flags were made available to individuals and organisations able to fly them across the town and beyond on yachts and boats based in Poole.

In view of the above and as a result of an enquiry from all of the residual Directors, our Executive Team unanimously decided to continue the promotion of the Poole Flag. We have recently promoted the flag on our Facebook page and have set up a page on our website. We are also interested in anyone who would like to “take charge” of this area of the Society, to work with the Executive to promote and sell the flags via social media and the internet etc. Therefore, if any Member of our Society would like to become more involved with this special task, please let me know as soon as possible.

Meanwhile Gerald Rigler, who was a Director of the Flag Trust continues to hold the stock of flags and is keen to sell them to enable him to get into his garage.


Small Flag 450x300mm £9.50
Medium Flag 1050x700mm £12.00
Large Flag 1500x1000mm £17.00
“Three Yard” Flag 2740x1370mm £32.00

Prices are inclusive of a £2 shipping (P&P) fee based upon posting within the UK only.

Once an order has been placed will be notified at  [email protected]

Mike Pearce.