FROM 8am today the first ever flag of Worcestershire will flutter proudly over the surrounding countryside from the top of the 200ft high tower of Worcester Cathedral.

Its emblem of three black pears set against a blue and white background was the winning design in a competition to create an official banner for the county after it was discovered Worcestershire didn’t have one.

“I am excited by the opportunity for our great historic county to at last be able to celebrate its identity with our own flag,” said Worcester’s MP Robin Walker.

“Worcestershire is a very special place to which I am proud to belong and I think having a flag of our own will help us to draw attention to our wonderful part of the world.”

The project was launched last year after BBC Hereford & Worcester broadcast a radio programme about the Flag Institute, the educational charity which keeps the UK Flag Registry and offers advice and guidance on flags and their usage.

“In the course of the programme it turned out Worcestershire hadn’t got an official flag and the suggestion to create one brought quite a strong reaction from listeners,” said Mark Hellings, the station’s assistant editor.

“We spoke to the county council which was very supportive of the idea and so we ran a competition for the best design.”

More than a dozen Worcestershire schools took part, as well as members of the public, and there were nearly 400 entries.

Coun Rob Adams, chairman of Worcestershire County Council, added: “I’m very pleased to have taken part in the process of selecting a flag for Worcestershire. “I’m immensely proud of belonging to this beautiful county, and have been impressed by the large number of entries for the competition, which demonstrates clearly the pride our residents and especially our young people have in their county.”

The Worcestershire flag project has also been enthusiastically received by the county’s business community and Mike Ashton, chief executive of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce said: “A new flag for the county is a great way of creating more ownership and enthusiasm for the local community and very much part of creating and buying into a local identity.”

A panel of judges picked the design by Elaine Truby of Friesland Close, Perdiswell, Worcester, as the winner.

Mrs Truby, a 51-years-old podiatrist with the National Health Service, traces her artistic ability back to her years at the former Worcester Grammar School for Girls in Spetchley Road, when she did A-level art.

“I cut patterns out every day as part of my job and I created the design by cutting out sugar paper and laying it on a table top,” she said.

“I chose the three black pears because they are synonymous with Worcester and the colour green because Worcestershire is such a green county and blue for the rivers that run through it.”

The 12ft by 6ft flag has been made by county flag firm Up the Pole of Catshill, Bromsgrove.

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