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Pupils design local flag for Parliament Square

South Nesting flag

A FLAG created by pupils from Nesting Primary School will fly in London’s Parliament Square this week.

The school was selected to represent Shetland and Orkney in a UK-wide project that will see flags from 80 primaries across the country go on display to mark the 750th anniversary of the Montfort parliament, when representative of the towns and shires came together for the first time.

The event takes place in the same week the House of Commons is set to meet for the first time after the general election.

Nesting head teacher Kate Coutts said that among the lessons learnt by the school’s 23 pupils was the appreciation of local culture and representation.

Nesting’s flag uses the two sporting colours of Shetland and Orkney – blue and red – to create a striking image.

In the middle of it all is a black raven, which represents the “joint Viking heritage” of the two island groups.

“It was the primary sevens who designed the flag and worked on it with a member of staff. We had to work back and forth with them to make sure that they could do the design with the material.

Flag project map - Image: UK Parliament

“We had done quite a lot of work on representation of people and places through Up-Helly Aa – we always make the shields for the local galley, and we have to represent the jarl.

“So we built on what we knew already and then looked at some of the emblems and colours we have used traditionally to represent Shetland,” she said.

“And also there’s fact that although we’re in Shetland, we can have a voice and have a recognition in London,” she added.

The school’s ceremonial flag is 12ft by 6ft in size and will fly on one of the permanent flag poles on Parliament Square (No.52, see map).

Northern isles MP Alistair Carmichael congratulated the school for their achievement.

“They have obviously put a lot of thought and effort into the creation of this flag and I can’t wait to see it flying in Parliament Square.

“The UK is made up from many different communities, each with their own distinctive culture and history.

“Ours is, however, a culture and history that is more distinctive than most and it deserves to have its place at the heart of an event celebrating our national parliament,” he said.