We asked the Flag Institute to register the traditional flag because that was the one that has been in common use for so many years. We have no wish to quarrel with the gentleman concerned. We have simply registered the white rose flag that we know has been accepted by common use for many years. There was a danger that another county might want to include a white rose in their flag and we needed to ensure that Yorkshire claimed it first.
We agree with the following statement that has been issued by the Flag Institute today:
Earlier this year the Yorkshire Riding Society (YRS) approached the Flag Institute, in the person of our Chief Vexillologist, Graham Bartram, to register the flag of Yorkshire. They had been speaking to their friend across the Pennines who had just registered the Lancashire flag. They wanted to register the traditional design of a white rose on a blue background. Graham asked if they had considered any other designs, and they had. They wanted to stick with the traditional design rather than the other Yorkshire flag they had seen, A red Scandinavian cross on white with a rose en soleil at the cross's centre. They had never seen this design flying and felt it was associated with the concept of a Yorkshire & Humberside Region/Assembly which had fallen through several years earlier. The traditional design has been made in Yorkshire for over forty years, With JW Plant in Leeds being one of the manufacturers, and that was the design they felt happy with.
The only design work Graham undertook was to come up with an official drawing of the flag. Although the basic design has been in use for a long time there has been no standardization of the rose, or the shade of blue of the background. The rose was redrawn several times until we came up with what the YRS thought was an archetypal Yorkshire Rose. The YRS also chose the shade of blue as Pantone 300 which they felt gave a bright and colourful flag.
Another "controversy" is which way round the rose goes. There is no agreement about this in Yorkshire with some people and organizations using it one way up and others the other way up. The YRS went with the majority, the North and West Ridings of the county, where it is normally used with the sepal downwards. These parts of the county are where Leeds, Bradford, Doncaster, Sheffield, etc are located with the majority of the population. The rose is also positioned centrally so there is nothing to stop someone who feels strongly that the rose is the wrong way up flying it the other way up!
So in summary all the Flag Institute is doing is registering a traditional design that has been in use for over forty years and can be seen flying all over the country, and producing a single standard drawing of the flag for future production. The YRS did not design the flag and do not claim to have designed it, they just asked the Flag Institute to register it, which we are happy to do.