Oxford MailColourful standard may be a flag for the city's future (From Oxford Mail)

Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us

Report this comment
  • "Thanks for giving us something to smile about for a change. This would make Oxford a laughing stock. Only our council could even consider wasting money on this."
  • 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

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

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:

Rodents live the high life in Mouse Town down on Fairytale Farm

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Tuesday 29th July 2014

RODENTS are living it up in a model village complete with church and jail.

Money to ease pressures on county's hospitals is cut by two thirds

Oxford Mail: oxfordshire county council logo round

7:00am Tuesday 29th July 2014

EXTRA cash to ease pressure on the county’s NHS and social services over the coming winter is to be slashed by almost two-thirds.

Man cleared over teenage sex charges

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

6:40am Tuesday 29th July 2014

A 25-YEAR-OLD has been cleared of inciting a teenage girl to engage in sexual activity after they met playing Xbox games online.

Hot weather clue as hundreds of fish die in Didcot brook

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Tuesday 29th July 2014

RECENT hot weather could be to blame for the death of hundreds of fish in a Didcot stream.

Heart charity’s county shops raise £450k in year

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Tuesday 29th July 2014

A HEART charity’s shops have raised more than £450,000 across Oxfordshire in the past year.

Closing time for cafe after 53 years of froth and stir

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Tuesday 29th July 2014

FOR 53 years Andreas Kuomi has been serving the people of Oxford everything from English breakfasts to his trademark Greek coffee.

Local Businesses

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