Report this comment
  • "Yep,monkeys are very common in Oxford, good choice NOT!"
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.


  • Enter the above word in the box below

Colourful standard may be a flag for the city's future

Ed Hall, 69, alongside the Oxford Banner he has created. Picture: OX67452 David Fleming

Ed Hall, 69, alongside the Oxford Banner he has created. Picture: OX67452 David Fleming Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

COULD this be the new Oxford flag?

The colourful standard, created by residents, celebrates the university, dreaming spires and the theory of evolution.

Oxford has never had a city flag, although Oxford City Council has its coat of arms – a bull crossing a river.

The banner was designed by visitors to a Modern Art Oxford workshop last Sunday, led by professional banner maker Ed Hall.

City residents who dropped in drew their inspiration from an exhibition about Oxford architecture inspired by evolution.

Mr Hall, 69, said: “In the 1850s, the O’Shea brothers from Dublin were invited to come and work on the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

“That was right at the focal point of the debate about evolution.

“The brothers began to create carvings on the museum of monkeys but with human qualities.

“Because Oxford University was Christian and opposed to evolution at that point, it sacked the brothers.

“But they began to get other commissions around Oxford and proceeded to carve as monkeys the very people who had sacked them.”

The flag features two O’Shea monkeys, holding a banner saying “nothing is forever”.

It also shows a dreaming spire against a blue sky, and another banner reading “will evolution save us?”

Mr Hall added: “Everyone was discussing ideas and what we’ve ended up with I think is really interesting.”

The monkeys represent the animal kingdom and four vaulting gymnasts, inspired by another exhibition at MAO, represent humanity.

Gallery communications manager, Hannah Evans, said: “It looks amazing, it has pulled in things from our own exhibitions and has a beautiful blue sky.”

City councillor Mohammed Abbasi, elected Lord Mayor of Oxford this month, welcomed the idea of an Oxford flag.

He said: “I think we should have a flag, we have got a strong reputation and a proud history. We have so many things to be proud of here, I think we need to get together and discuss it.”

A blue and green Oxfordshire flag, named the St Frideswide Cross, has been proposed by the Oxfordshire Association, but not formally adopted.

The new Oxford flag will be hung at MAO from Tuesday until the exhibition closes on June 8.

Our top stories:

Beds in sheds: Almost 300 illegal dwellings across Oxford

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 29th January 2015

THERE are almost 300 illegal dwellings currently across the city, with officials warning the number could rise.

UPDATE: Reports of snow in Chipping Norton and Carterton as warning issued for county

Oxford Mail: Ice warning for Sussex after more snow falls

12:06pm Thursday 29th January 2015

There have been reports of snow in Chipping Norton and Carterton as the county was issued a warning for wintry weather.

Tables: GCSE and A Level results for 2014

Oxford Mail:

12:30pm Thursday 29th January 2015

Results tables released by the Department for Education

Sheep dies after flock stray onto A40 near Wolvercote

Oxford Mail: Swampy the sheep and her lamb

9:33am Thursday 29th January 2015

A SHEEP was killed in an incident which closed the A40 near Wolvercote for almost half an hour last night.

Alfie Potter desperate to get smile back after moving from Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 29th January 2015

ALFIE Potter says he will always have great memories from his time at Oxford United.

Volunteers praised as ebola vaccine tests progress

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Thursday 29th January 2015

THE first results from the trial of an Ebola vaccine have shown it is well tolerated and provokes an immune response.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree