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:

Firefighters battle loft blaze in Witney

Oxford Mail: Fire engine Oxfordshire

10:01am Sunday 21st December 2014

FIREFIGHTERS were able to stop a roof fire spreading and destroying the rest of the house last night.

What brilliant picture is in our Oxford Mail Advent Calendar today?

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014

December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?

Skye Hall's family: Our first Christmas without our brave son

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

LOOM bands are taking over the house of Skye Hall’s family as they prepare to spend their first Christmas without the brave youngster who died in August.

Hudspeth backs councillors in demand to be told man's pay in allowances row

Oxford Mail: Ian Hudspeth

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

OXFORDSHIRE County Council leader Ian Hudspeth has backed councillors Rodney Rose and Kevin Bulmer who asked a voter to reveal his wages when he challenged them over a 19 per cent hike in their allowance.

Two arrested for GBH after man injured in fight

Oxford Mail:

5:24pm Saturday 20th December 2014

Two teenagers from Witney were arrested last night after a man suffered a broken arm.

Oxfam "accepts" tweet ruling

Oxford Mail:

2:23pm Saturday 20th December 2014

OXFAM has said it accepts criticism from charity regulators over an alleged “party political” tweet about a “perfect storm” of poverty.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:52pm Sat 31 May 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

Yep,monkeys are very common in Oxford, good choice NOT!
Yep,monkeys are very common in Oxford, good choice NOT! HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: 2

3:23pm Sat 31 May 14

davidrnewman says...

Surely the Oxford City coat of arms is an ox fording a river, not a bull?
Surely the Oxford City coat of arms is an ox fording a river, not a bull? davidrnewman
  • Score: 4

10:30am Sun 1 Jun 14

norton manor says...

I think the proposed is Naff. agree with previous post
I think the proposed is Naff. agree with previous post norton manor
  • Score: 2

8:05pm Sun 1 Jun 14

mytaxes says...

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.
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. mytaxes
  • Score: 0

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