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:

UPDATE: Oxford City properties hit by power cut 'back on by 11.30pm' say SSE

Oxford Mail: light bulb with power lines

8:44pm Monday 27th April 2015

PROPERTIES affected by power cuts in Oxfordshire today are being brought back online in phases.

Murder accused is kept in custody after stabbing victim found in car

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

8:30am Monday 27th April 2015

A 34-YEAR-OLD will appear in court tomorrow accused of murdering the man found fatally wounded in a car in Barton.

Charity dance competition is strictly sensational

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 27th April 2015

ALL the glitz and glamour of the ballroom was brought to Oxford’s New Theatre on Saturday as couples danced off in the Strictly Oxford competition.

Mum fights to have vital drug made available through NHS

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 27th April 2015

A MUM whose husband and young son are fighting the same rare life-threatening disease is campaigning to gain access to vital medication on the NHS.

Footballers’ tribute to tragic Kyle

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 27th April 2015

FRIENDS and family of tragic Kyle Byfield came together for a memorial football tournament in Banbury on Sunday.

Pensioner will fly village’s flag again 70 years on from VE Day

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 27th April 2015

YOUNG Roy Hanson was given the task of flying the Union Jack on his village church tower on VE Day in 1945.

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