The latest news from the Exmoor Flag Project.
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It has been an exciting few weeks at the Exmoor Flag Project.  We have been overwhelmed by the response to the competition and the positive feedback. The call for entries closed on Monday 21st of July and we received a staggering 261 designs.

You will see from the comments below that not only have people had fun getting involved creating their flags either on their own, as a family or with their class mates, but they have expressed their feelings for the project and what Exmoor means to them. 

“I am 71 years, 11 months & 15 days and still enjoy a challenge.  This project has given me immense pleasure and reminded me how fortunate I am to live in such a beautiful area. Thank you.”
Just thought I'd let you know that the children really enjoyed designing the flags and we talked about Exmoor, what we did and the friends there.

“I love Exmoor as simple as that and at 83 yrs of age I have never tired of it.”
“Many thanks folks for providing this inspiring initiative for us Exmoor-ites – whatever happens, I look forward to the result”.
Flag Entries

Design entries came from the length and breadth of the country from Devon to Durham, Pembrokeshire to Kent.  And from far flung places as Florida, Spain and Australia!

We had entries via email using design packages, through the post and hand delivered created with pencils, pens and paints.  We even had several collages and one made with fabric. (Strangely none made with loom bands)!

As you would expect there was a plethora of wildlife including the famous Exmoor red deer stag, Exmoor Ponies, sheep, rabbits, buzzards, fish, foxes, badgers, a couple Exmoor Beasts and even a unicorn as "Exmoor is a magical place".  

The youngest entrant was a 2 year old from Brushford and the oldest was a 93 year old lady from Bampton.
The Exmoor Flag Project team were given unprecedented permission to board one of The West Somerset Railway’s iconic steam trains on the 2nd of July.
The 12.30 Raveningham Hall 6960 steam locomotive out of Minehead Station became a flag design train for the afternoon, with both children and adults getting inspiration for their flag creations from the stunning Exmoor countryside as they rumbled along the tracks.

One little girl handed in her beautiful flag creation depicting an Exmoor Pony when she left the train at Watchet.  And Joshua Huckett (pictured) currently on work experience with WSR in the Buffet Car was keen to enter, as was the case with many other passengers who had fascinating stories to tell of their experiences of Exmoor, be it visiting on holiday, living in the area or in the army assisting with the Lynmouth floods back in the 1950s.
Judging and Public Vote

On the 6th of August in Dulverton Town Hall a judging panel made up of a cross section of Exmoor people will have the extremely difficult task of short listing all the wonderful entries down to just 4 finalists. During the process (and at the unveiling ceremony) a television crew will be filming for a programme to be shown on ITV.  The businesses and people of Dulverton are planning to celebrate the hosting of the Exmoor Flag judging by flying flags throughout the town.

The public vote starts on the 18th of August and closes on the 8th of September.  You will get the opportunity to chose your favourite design to become the official flag for Exmoor by filling in the form published in the local press or online via the Exmoor Flag website. The judges are:

Dan James – Exmoor National Park Authority, Sustainable Economy Manager
Toni Jones – Exmoor Society, Member of the Executive Committee
Johnny Kingdom - Exmoor wildlife enthusiast & TV personality
Naomi Cudmore – Editor, The Exmoor Magazine
Robin Ashburner – Exmoor resident & Ex President of the Flag Institute
Exmoor Flag Project Team – Ceri Keene and Julie Christian

The panel will be overseen by judge Philip Tibbetts, the Community Vexillologist for the Flag Institute, the organisation who are endorsing the Exmoor Flag design competition. The winning design will be registered with the Flag Institute as an official United Kingdom flag. 
We received 81 entries from All Saints First School & Dulverton Middle School alone. Multiple entries were also received from the pupils at The Lampard Community School in Barnstaple and St Johns Catholic Primary School in Tiverton.  We also heard that other schools embraced the competition and took the opportunity to teach the children about flags and how they are created. Children also had the opportunity to learn about Exmoor and its history, landscapes, people and wildlife. Many children decided to do their designs at home with their families.

Pictured above children creating their flags at the Exmoor Community Youth Club in Exford, run by Laura Tasker.
Unveiling Ceremony, Prizes & Gallery

Plans are coming together for an Exmoor Flag celebration day in October where the winning Exmoor Flag will be unveiled during a special ceremony.  Details will follow shortly once arrangements are confirmed.

The winner of the Exmoor Flag competition will receive not only the honour of creating the official flag for Exmoor and a hand sewn copy of the flag made on Exmoor, but the most amazing hamper crammed full of beautiful Exmoor crafts, tasty Exmoor produce along with vouchers to visitor attractions and meals out. All the prizes have been generously donated by local companies who are enthusiastic supporters of the Exmoor Flag.  Details of the prize givers are on the Exmoor Flag website.

To showcase all the wonderful unique entries we will have a gallery on the website and hopefully an exhibition that will tour Exmoor.  Again details will follow.
Copyright © 2014 Exmoor Flag Project, All rights reserved.

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