A row has erupted over Staffordshire’s flag.
A vote is currently taking place to decide which one of two designs should be approved for the county.
But Staffordshire County Council said it would be withdrawing its bid after “losing faith” in the Flag Institute.
The authority currently uses the Stafford Knot and the passant lion on its recognised design.
However, a second pretender to the flag throne has since emerged.
But Cllr Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council, said their original design would continue to be used, regardless of the result.
“Our flag has been flown in the county for several years and when we were approached by parish councils asking us to consider registering the flag, we were happy to do so, even though it carries no actual official or legal status.
“We submitted our application in good faith, but unfortunately feel we have to withdraw our application as we have now lost trust and confidence in the whole process.
“We will of course continue to fly our own flag proudly across Staffordshire roofs as we have done so for the past seven years.”
But the Flag Institute has criticised the county council for “confused and inaccurate” comments over the process.
A spokesperson said: “The application to register an alternative design for a flag of the historic county of Staffordshire has been made by the Staffordshire Heritage Group, supported by 16 other Staffordshire-based organisations.
“The Flag Institute does not register flags specific to modern county council administrative areas. The ‘county’ most people identify with is the historic one, not the modern administrative areas.
“While understandably disappointed that their application has not proceeded unopposed, we are confident that the elected councillors of Staffordshire County Council will, like us, wish to support the democratic choice of people within the historic county of Staffordshire to decide which flag represents them.
“We encourage the people to have their say by voting for the design they prefer.”