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County councillor flying the Staffordshire flag for Lichfield

staffordshire-flag1Lichfield Rural East’s county councillor has launched a campaign to give a new pride of place to people who live in Staffordshire.

Matthew Ellis, who retained his county seat with a landslide win in June, says that a sense of belonging is important in tackling some of the social issues the whole country is facing.

He explained:

“I’m always taken aback by the sense of belonging people feel in Cornwall. They are openly proud of their county, the food that’s produced there and the culture which is so incredibly strong. Everywhere, it’s Cornish this and Cornish that and you can’t travel far without seeing Cornwall’s black and white flag flying.”

And he believes that starting to fly Staffordshire’s official flag is a good way to encourage people to feel part of their county.

Cllr Ellis has kicked the campaign off by buying a five foot Staffordshire flag for each of the thirteen parishes he represents. He added:

“Staffordshire has a long and fascinating history. We should be proud of that and reject efforts nationally to make us all feel part of the West Midlands Region. I don’t know where that starts or finishes and, frankly, I don’t want to. I do feel part of Staffordshire but don’t feel part of some artificial administrative region. It may seem a small thing but if we can share a common cause and identity I think that could be very positive for the future.”

Most public buildings in Staffordshire now fly the Union Flag permanently as a result of a County motion put forward last year by Cllr Ellis.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

10 Comments

  1. Steve

    27th July, 2009 at 10:29 am

    He’s onto something there. Increased pride and sense of place can do wonders from valuing our local produce to improving the environment. It sounds like very little (flying a flag) but it’s a start. I’d have Staffordshire Flag car sticker – anyone know of someone who makes them?

  2. Phil

    28th July, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Someone once told me (or I read somewhere), “no involvement, no committment”. If you make people feel involved in something they’ll be committed to it’s future and it’s well being. Whether that’s their place of work, school or community. Cllr Ellis’ idea is one step to help people feel more involved and get that sense of belonging.

  3. Streethay Swampy

    28th July, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Steve,

    Take a look on E bay, there are some on there at £2.69 each

  4. Steve

    28th July, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    oh of course! Ebay! Purchased a pair! Thanks!!!

  5. Andy F

    28th July, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    I think i have to point out that Saffordshire like the West Midlands is nothing other than an artificial administrative region. At one time, Lichfield was its own county which was ‘put back’ into staffordshire for such administrative reasons. Admittidly it has a longer historic period than the west midlands.
    Cornwall was very much a seperate country rather than just an admistrative county hence its own language and cultural identity. These are the last of the Celtic people. (of course along with some welsh, scottish and irish).
    I started school in 1980 and i remember being shown videos being told to be proud of Staffordshire.
    Suggesting my cultural identity should be based upon the administrative county in which i live is of course nonsense. This idea has failed before and will fail again.
    The majority of people won’t be satisfied by identifying themselves with a flag with a knot on it.

    I agree that a sense of belonging to something will be of benefit – but i feel that living in the Staffordshire county is not a strong enough bond between people to be of any use in curing societys problems.

    Lets face facts, me and a random guy from Stoke on Trent are unlikely to form a united front against social issues.
    The problems we have are broken communities and no sense of ownership of local surroundings – not a lack of county pride.

  6. Andy F

    28th July, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    I must add that this sort of propaganda may make young children behave for a while but once they realise they don’t really identify with the administrative county of staffordshire, some may feel hoodwinked and go on vandalising rampage throught heir teens.

    Hope this helps.

  7. Phil

    29th July, 2009 at 12:32 am

    It’s a good point, Andy. You can’t force identity on people. Hopefully though, people will identify with something. Perhaps not with Staffordshire as a whole but it might encourage them to identify with something about where they live. Who knows. It puts it out there at least.

  8. Stuart Harrison

    29th July, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I was born in Wolverhampton, grew up in Lichfield, live in Coleshill (Warwickshire), work in Lichfield and spend a lot of my leisure time in Birmingham. County boundaries mean little to me, but I am a proud midlander and will remain so for may years to come.

  9. Andy F

    29th July, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    I suggest Concentrating on peoples tangible locality rather than a county (which aside from administrative purposes) is merely an abstract idea.

  10. Matthew Ellis

    30th July, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    I’m really pleased that several of the parish councils that recieved a flag from me are planning on flying them and even more pleased that seven people have contacted my office (two from the north of the county) asking where to get Staffordshire flags. I’m also very proud to live in Lichfield too but felt that our county would be beter known nationally. I knew I should have asked for commission when I bought the original flags… oops, only joking!!!