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

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:

Pothole payouts in Oxfordshire double

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Wednesday 28th January 2015

THE amount of compensation claimed by Oxfordshire drivers for pothole damage more than doubled in two years.

A40 partially blocked this evening - by 50-60 sheep

Oxford Mail:

10:21pm Wednesday 28th January 2015

THE A40 is partially blocked at Wolvercote by up to 60 loose sheep.

Churchill’s memorial man still chiselling away after 66 years

Oxford Mail:

8:43pm Wednesday 28th January 2015

THE 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral will be marked across Oxfordshire tomorrow.

Girl slept with accused sex attacker when she was aged 14, court told

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

8:39pm Wednesday 28th January 2015

A GIRL has claimed she had sex with a young man accused of grooming and exploiting teenagers in Banbury when she was 14 years old.

Snake fossil finds spark rethink of their history

Oxford Mail:

8:33pm Wednesday 28th January 2015

SNAKE fossils found in Oxfordshire have forced scientists to re-write their evolutionary story.

UPDATE:Services back to normal on Cotswold Line between Oxford and Worcester after person hit by train

Oxford Mail: A First Great Western High Speed Train

4:30pm Wednesday 28th January 2015

Services have returned to normal between Oxford, Worcester and Hereford this afternoon after a person was hit by a train between Moreton-in-Marsh and Kingham.

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