Back in 2016, in the wake of the EU referendum, people started talking about the capital breaking away from the rest of the country. But if Londependence is ever going to be a serious prospect, we’re going to need a flag.
Wait – doesn’t London already have a flag? You’ve been Googling it, and the answer is, actually, no.
Most of the capital’s 33 councils have a flag of their own, featuring either a coat of arms or a modern design. The tiny City of London has been flying its ensign – a red-and-white St George’s cross with the sword of St Paul – since at least 1663. Greater London – the entity created in 1965 out of the City and the 32 modern boroughs – used to have a flag, but it fell out of official use in the ’80s. The Greater London Authority, which has existed since 2000, has never decided on a new one – even though other major cities like Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo, Chicago and New York have been flying their own flags for years.
But could that change? After all, Birmingham voted for a snazzy new flag in 2015 in a competition run by the Flag Institute. According to the body’s chief vexillologist, Graham Bartram, there’s no reason why Sadiq Khan couldn’t start a similar campaign: ‘If the Mayor is worried about people not feeling like they belong in London, maybe he should look at having a flag,’ he says.
Naturally, we put the question to the Mayor himself. ‘I’m happy to look into this,’ says Sadiq. ‘I’ll need to deny the rumours that persist that I will unilaterally declare independence. But if you’ve got ideas for a flag, send them in.’ You heard it here first – over to you, flag fans!
Now check out these five alternative flags for an independent London.