THE GUERNSEY FLAG
The people of Guernsey proudly
fly the island's own flag - a red Cross of St George superimposed
by a gold cross of distinctive shape. It provides an historic link
with time when Guernsey was part of the Duchy of Normandy, governed
by William the Conqueror. But it also reflects the Islands present-day
independence and its long constitutional relationship with the
The flag is quite young - it was designed in 1985. before then,
Guernsey used a simple Cross of St George. However, this led to
confusion with its use as the Flag of England - at the Commonwealth
Games English and Guernsey teams used the same flag, leading other
competitors to believe England had two teams!
The States of Guernsey therefore decided that a new flag was needed.
A Committee was set up under the chairmanship of the then Deputy
Bailiff, Sir Graham Dorey, and, after much research, proposed that
the Cross of St George continue to be used, but with the gold cross
shown on the gonfanon (banner) of William the Conqueror, which
appears on the Bayeux Tapestry.
Her Majesty The Queen granted a Royal Warrant for the flag. Its
Blazon (official description) is:
"Argent a Cross Gules thereon a Guernsey Cross (being a representation
of the Cross on the banner of William of Normandy ) Gold. "
The new Flag was first flown on the 9 th May 1985 - the
40 th anniversary of the island's Liberation from Second World
War Occupation. Its bold and bright design can be seen on all festive
The red Cross of St George also forms the basis of
the Alderney and Sark Flags, and therefore provides a common theme
for the flags used in the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
Although Guernsey 's own flag is generally used,
the Union Flag is flown from public buildings on designated days,
such as the Queen's Birthday. And it is also flown every day from
the top of Castle Cornet, to signify the Castle's historical connections
with the British Army.
THE GUERNSEY ENSIGN
The gold cross of William also appears on a special
Ensign for use by Guernsey residents who are British subjects.
They may fly the Ensign on vessels which are registered or certificated
in their own names, regardless of where they sail. Companies which
are registered and have their principal place of business in the
Island may fly the Guernsey Ensign on their vessels, when operating
in waters adjacent to the Channel Islands.
The Blazon of the Guernsey Ensign is:
"Gules in the Canton the flag of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and in the Fly a Guernsey
Cross (being a representation of the Cross on the banner of William
of Normandy) Gold. "
The Ensign may be seen on many Guernsey boats, and
it is also flown on Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum when it is open
to the public.
THE ARMS OF GUERNSEY
The Arms of Guernsey derive from the Arms of England
and a seal granted by King Edward I in 1279 for use in the Channel
Islands . The Guernsey shield is distinguished from the English
Arms (and the Jersey Arms) by having a sprig, which originally
formed the stop marking the division between the beginning and
end of the motto S'Ballivie Insule De Gernereye, (The Bailiwick
of Guernsey) which ran around the shield.
The Shield is commonly, but incorrectly referred
to as the 'Guernsey Crest'. Guernsey 's ten parishes also have
their own shields.
Further information on the Flag, Ensign and Arms
appears in Billet d'Etat VI, 1985.