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Halesowen, West Midlands (England)

Last modified: 2010-07-16 by rob raeside
Keywords: west midlands | halesowen |
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[Flag of Halesowen] image located by Chrystian Kretowicz, 1 April 2010

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About the Flag

The town of Halesowen (57,918 inhabitants in 2001), part of the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, West Midlands, England, is located c. 15 km south-west of Birmingham. Like most places in the Black Country, Halesowen had several coal mines, but the town was mostly known for its nail makers. The Black Country, whose exact limits are controversial, is often considered as made of the three Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall and of the City of Wolverhampton. It was one of the hearts of the Industrial Revolution in the XIXth century. Halesowen Town Football Club, founded in 1873 and aka "The Yeltz", is one of the oldest English football clubs.
Philip 'Doc' Tibbetts, 7 April 2009

Reported at

"Halesowen’s new flag is flying high after an official unveiling ceremony in the town centre. The winning entry in a recent flag competition was hoisted above the town for the first time last week. Halesowen College student Reece O’Toole brought together emblems of Halesowen’s industrial past to design his flag....

“Reece’s inspiration came from traditional symbols and the coat of arms for Halesowen, he also wanted to represent the steel and iron industry in his design. He has created a flag which reflects the town’s history and culture but one that also looks to the future. The flag is now flying at the flag pole, Bull Ring, just off Great Cornbow and Birmingham Street."
Chrystian Kretowicz, 1 April 2010

Flag Proposal

[Flag of Halesowen] image by Philip Tibbetts, 26 September 2008

On 25 July 2008, the "Halesowen News" presented two new English local flags, as follows:
"A former Halesowen man who has designed a unique flag for the town has got his design in print. Engineer Philip Tibbetts has designed a flag for Halesowen which he hopes will eventually be seen flying proudly in his home town. The 23-year-old former Earls High pupil, who now works in Preston, has printed a copy of the standard which combines elements of Halesowen's two coats of arms and hopes to speak to Dudley mayor Ray Burston about the idea of flying it on the old council house or St John's Church. Philip has also designed a Black Country flag featuring a chain to represent heavy industry and has spoken to the heads of Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton Councils who have agreed to raise the idea of having a regional standard at the Black Country Consortium - an organisation that works to spearhead regeneration in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. [...]"

A colour photograph shows the flags of Halesowen and of the Black Country, presented by Philip Tibbetts and Leigh Cotterill, respectively. The flag of Halesowen is blue with a white chevron outlined in blue and yellow. There is a big yellow lion covering the top of the chevron and three smaller, yellow fleurs-de-lis in the upper left and right corners and vertically centered, in the bottom of the flag, respectively. The Halesowen Borough coat of arms is shown on the "Civic Heraldry of England and Wales" website as follows:

  • Arms: Per pale argent and or a lion rampant double queued per pale gules and vert a chief per pile reversed of the first and azure thereon in chief two escallops sable and in base a fleur-de-lys of the second.
  • Crest: Out of a mural crown or an anvil sable the beak encircled by a chain reflexed over the face gold.
  • Supporters: On the dexter side a canon of the Premonstratensian Order holding in the exterior hand a [closed] book and on the sinister side a gentleman habited in costume of the fifteenth century all proper.
  • Motto: "Respice Aspice Prospice" - Look to the past, the present and the future.
  • Granted 16th September 1937.
The shield is composed of emblems representing the principal owners of the Manor of Hales. The red half of the lion represents Earl Roger of Montgomery (1066-1094) and the green half, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (1555). The fleur-de-lis refers to the Premonstratension Canons (1218-1538) and the scallops, the Lyttleton family, who have held the manor since 1559. The crest refers to the iron and steel industries and the chain making industry of Cradley. The left hand supporter is a further reference to the Canons and the right hand supporter is intended for Sir Thomas Lyttleton, Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas.
Ivan Sache, 30 July 2008

The story behind the Halesowen Flag
When designing the Black Country flag I had thought that counties had every right to a flag and following on that course of thinking it seemed only fair that towns and cities should have their own too. The flag takes on elements of Halesowen's two coats of arms. The older arms probably are associated with Halesowen Abbey which was founded by Premonstratensian canons from France in 1215. The French influence can be seen in the blue field with the three golden fleur-de-lys upon which a white chevron is added. These arms can be seen repeatedly inside Halesowen Church and are also the basis for the emblems Halesowen Golf Club, The Earls High School (the old Grammar School) and Old Halesonians Rugby & Hockey clubs.
The second coat of arms was granted by the Royal College for the parish council in 1937 and can still be seen on benches in the town centre. The centre piece of this design features a distinctive twin tailed lion rampant. The red part of the lion represents the Norman who took overlordship of the town after the Norman invasion of England, Earl Roger of Montgomery and the green half, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

In order to fit the design the lion was taken from the later arms to act as a centre-piece for the flag once it was recoloured gold. The white chevron also gets edged in blue and gold as well as a continued reflection of the emblems of the grammar school and other institutions.
Philip Tibbetts, 6 October 2008

My work at promoting a Halesowen flag has finally met with success - the council has agreed to make an official flag, there will be a competition where the public submit entries and the council choose a winner. My flag is the first entry :)
Philip Tibbetts, 20 September 2009