Report this comment
  • "Surely the Oxford City coat of arms is an ox fording a river, not a bull?"
  • 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:

Attack in Oxford city centre leaves two men needing hospital treatment

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:24pm Saturday 22nd November 2014

TWO men were assaulted in Oxford city centre last weekend.

What have our brilliant columnists said this week - choose your favourite in our interactive collage

Oxford Mail:

4:00pm Saturday 22nd November 2014

Just what have our thought-provoking columnists been writing about this week? Catch up with our interactive collage giving you a choice from 9 of the best

Our interactive spread of the week's best photos: but what are the stories behind the pictures

Oxford Mail:

3:00pm Saturday 22nd November 2014

We've had some wonderful pictures this week - here's our interactive spread with links to the stories behind the photos

Oxfordshire callers to police's 101 number urged to stay on line amid problems

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

11:19am Saturday 22nd November 2014

Callers to the police's non-emergency 101 number are being urged to stay on the line despite problems.

Brainpower is the key for Oxford United says head coach Michael Appleton

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 22nd November 2014

Michael Appleton says Oxford United will need to be intelligent if they are to keep heavyweight striker Adebayo Akinfenwa quiet for AFC Wimbledon today.

6 things you may not have known were happening in Oxfordshire this weekend

Oxford Mail: Terry Wogan at the fund raising reception

11:34am Friday 21st November 2014

Six things you may not have known were happening in Oxfordshire this weekend.

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