Flags and symbols of Yorkshire

Flags and symbols of Yorkshire have been used to identify the historic county of Yorkshire and its relating councils through vexillological flags and symbols (including coats of arms). This article also includes flags and symbols used in the modern day Yorkshire and the Humber region; such as the metropolitan counties of West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire, the shire county of North Yorkshire and the unitary authority of the East Riding of Yorkshire.


Emblem Use Description
Yorkshire The flag used to represent the historic county of Yorkshire is a White Rose of York on a blue background. The design dates from the 1960s. The flag was registered by the Flag Institute on 29 July 2008 at the request of the Yorkshire Ridings Society. The design registered by the YRS was one of three rival flag designs for Yorkshire.
Yorkshire Almost all Yorkshire symbolism contains the White Rose of York, which originated as the symbol of the House of York. It was later also used as a Jacobite symbol.

Coats of arms


The coats of arms of the county councils became obsolete in 1974. In each case they were granted by letters patent issued by the officers at the College of Arms.

Coat of arms Use Blazon and description
North Riding County Council Blazon:Argent a cross gules; on a chief azure three roses argent barbed and seeded proper.

Granted March 1, 1928, but used unofficially from 1889.

The arms combined the cross of St George with white Yorkshire roses.
West Riding County Council

Blazon:Ermine a rose argent, barbed and seeded proper and en soleil Or; on a chief gules three roses of the second barbed and seeded proper. The arms ensigned by a mural crown Or

Granted February 2, 1927.

The "sun in splendor" behind the rose was also used as a symbol of the House of York in the times of Edward IV and Richard III. the Latin motto adopted by the council wasAudi Consilium meaning "heed counsel".
East Riding County Council

Blazon:Per chevron argent and Or, in chief two garbs proper and in base an eagle displayed azure; on a chief sable three roses argent barbed and seeded proper.

Granted February 28, 1945.

Prior to 1945 the county council used an unofficial coat of arms consisting of a gold shield bearing a blue eagle. This was taken from the seal of the borough of Beverley, the county town. The "garbs" or heraldic wheatsheaves represented agriculture.

The grant also included a crest displayed on a helm above the crest: on a wreath of the colours, on a garb fessewise Or an eagle displayed azure. The Latin motto (also not shown in the illustration here) was Solis Ortum Conspicere or "To behold the sunrise".

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties

Following reorganisation by the Local Government Act 1972, three county councils were formed: the metropolitan counties of South and West Yorkshire, and the non-metropolitan county of North Yorkshire. All three of the county councils received grants of complete "achievements" of arms consisting of a shield, crest and supporters.

Coat of arms Use Blazon and description
North Yorkshire County Council Blazon: Argent a bendlet wavy azure and a bendlet sinister wavy vert over all on a cross gules five roses argent barbed and seeded proper. Crest: On a wreath argent and azure upon a mural crown gules a lion passant guardant Or supporting with the dexter forepaw a rose argent barbed and seeded proper en soleil. Supporters: Upon a compartment of a heather moor proper on the dexter a lion Or holding in the sinister forepaw a sword argent hilt pomel and quillons gules and resting the sinister hindpaw on a fountain on the sinister a lion Or holding in the dexter forepaw two keys in saltire argent and resting the dexter hindpaw on a serpent coiled proper.

Granted April 29 1980

The cross of St George comes from the arms of both the North Riding County Council and the City of York which were combined in the new county. The cross bears five white roses. In the background of the shield are narrow green and blue waves representing the Yorkshire Dales and Wolds. The crest featured a lion from the York city arms supporting the "rose en soleil" from the arms of West Riding County Council. Two gold lions also support the arms. A number of symbols were added for heraldic difference: crossed keys for the archdiocese of York, the sword borne before the Lord Mayor of York, a serpent for St Hilda of Whitby and a heraldic "fountain" for the county's coats and waterways. The Latin motto is Unitate Fortior or "stronger by union".
West Yorkshire County Council

Blazon: Or two piles azure a rose argent barbed and seeded proper. Crest: on a wreath of the colours a mural crown Or standing thereon a lion rampant guardant per fess gules and tenne crowned Or bearing in its forepaws a rose argent barbed and seeded proper. Supporters: Dexter a lion rampant guardant per fess gules and sable armed and langued azure crowned and charged on the shoulder with a sun in splendour Or sinister a lion rampant guardant per fess tenne and vert armed and langued gules crowned Or charged on the shoulder with a rose argent barbed and seeded proper, the whole upon a compartment representing the Pennine Hills.

Granted August 22, 1975

The arms featured a "W" shaped pattern and white rose to represent "West Yorkshire". The crest and supporters were crowned lions. They were each of two colours: red and black (gules and sable) were for industry; green and earth colour (vert and tenne) were for agriculture. The motto was "By effort achieve".

With the abolition of the county council in 1986 these arms became obsolete.
South Yorkshire County Council

Blazon: ''Sable a pile throughout barry dancetty argent and gules over all a pile reversed throughout counterchanged in the sable a rose argent barbed and seeded proper between two like roses dimidiated and issuing from the flanks. Crest: Issuant from a mural crown gules a rose argent barbed and seeded proper dimidiating a bezant. Supporter: Dexter a horse guardant Or crined and unguled sable supporting with the dexter forehoof a hoe gules sinister a lion guardant sable maned Or supporting a miner's pick-axe gules.

Granted 1978.

The black diamonds represented coal mining and the red and silver zig-zag pattern steel processing: on top of these were placed white roses. The crest was a Yorkshire rose joined to a "bezant" or golden coin for the county's wealth. The supporters: a horse with a hoe and a lion with a pick-axe stood for agriculture and coalmining respectively. The motto was "Each shall strive for the welfare of all".

With the abolition of the county council in 1986 these arms became obsolete.

Non-metropolitan district (unitary authority)

Coat of arms Use Description
East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Blazon: Barry vert and Or on a chevron engrailed plain cotised gules three roses argent barbed and seeded proper. crest: issuing from a mural crown argent an eagle displayed gules armed and langued azure supporting with the dexter talons a sword hilt upwards and with the sinister talons a crozier in saltire Or; mantled gules doubled argent. Supporters: on the dexter a lion azure guardant armed and langued gules gorged with a wreath of barley supporting between the forelegs a trident Or; on the sinister a demi-horse argent langued gules maned Or the feet webbed vert conjoined to the lower half of a Hippocampus vert supporting between the forelegs set upon a staff a cross fleury gules.

Granted 1996.

The green and gold stripes of the shield represent the wealth generatyed by the land of the East Riding. On top of this placed a distinctive chevron bearing Yorkshire roses. The "engrailed" edge and "cotises" were added to ensure that this simple coat of arms was unique. The crest features the eagle used by the former East Riding County Council now coloured red. The history and industry of the area are represented by a crozier and a sword. The red and white decorative mantling hanging from the helm is red and white, the colours of St George. The dexter supporter is a blue lion. This featured in the insignia of the predecessor Beverley and Boothferry Borough Councils. About the lion's neck is a wreath of barley. The sinister supporter is seahorse for the maritime interests of the county. The motto chosen by the council is "Tradition and progress".

British Army

Symbol Use Description
Yorkshire Regiment Tactical Recognition Flash of the Yorkshire Regiment of the British Army


Search another word or see forehoofon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature