East Lothian pupil’s flag flying at Westminster

Amy Gardner with her winning flag design
Amy Gardner with her winning flag design
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A FLAG designed by an 11-year-old pupil from East Lothian is among just 80 from across the UK chosen to fly at Westminster as part of a project to celebrate the country’s parliamentary heritage and connect young people with the democratic process.

Youngsters were asked to come up with a flag design to represent their own area or community. And Amy Gardner, a P6 pupil from Dirleton Primary School, produced a combination of colours to symbolise the coastal, agricultural. sporting and geographical character of East Lothian.

An estimated 20,000 children in primary schools throughout the UK took have taken part in the 2015 Flag project, run by the Houses of Parliament, to mark the 750th anniversary of the Simon de Montfort parliament of 1265, when elected representatives of the shires and the boroughs of England came together for the first time,

Amy said: “In the background of my flag I chose three colours – the blue and the yellow represent the sea and the sand of East Lothian’s long coast line. I chose the green to represent the large fields and farmland and the green golf courses as this area is also called The Golf Coast.

“The emblem in the centre is a black triangle that represents the North Berwick Law which is a well-known extinct volcano in East Lothian. The yellow sun in the centre of the emblem is important as East Lothian is the sunniest and driest area of Scotland.”

All the flag designs submitted as part of the project can be seen “flying” in a digital exhibition at www.parliament.uk/2015flaghub. Amy’s was one of 80 chosen to be made into real flags and flown near the Houses of Parliament last week.

Brian Moody, head teacher at Dirleton Primary, said: “All the children in Amy’s class responded well to the challenge but Amy’s flag stood clear in its design and symbolism in relation to East Lothian, she did a fantastic job and should be very proud of her achievement.

“I am sure she will always remember the time her flag represented East Lothian in London’s Parliament Square.”

The flags project aims to help forge stronger relationships between MPs, Parliament as an institution, young people and schools. It is part of the 2015 Parliament in the Making anniversary programme, a year-long series of events, educational and cultural activities to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and the 750th anniversary of the de Montfort’s parliament.

Jonathan Parsons, a renowned flag artist who was the creative lead on the project, said: “I am thrilled to have been involved with a project where children from across the country have been able to learn about their democratic heritage through creative work and secure such a prominent platform for their visual achievements in Parliament Square – a space usually reserved to mark royal occasions, state visits or military events.”

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com