Council will support and fly the Fenland Flag

Fenland Flag

James Bowman and the Fenland Flag he conceived. It has now won the backing and support of East Cambridgeshire District Council. - Credit: James Bowman

High days and holidays – or in other words when the fancy takes them – will see the Fenland Flag fly over council offices in Ely.  

East Cambridgeshire District Council agreed a motion from its leader Anna Bailey to “support the ambition” to have the flag officially recognised.


She said it could be occasionally flown on the council’s flag pole to promote its wider use.  

James Bowman, who began the campaign for a Fenland Flag, said he was delighted by the motion approved at the council’s annual meeting.  

“Great news,” he said. “Many warm thanks are due to Cllrs Anna Bailey and Julia Huffer for proposing and seconding the motion.” 

Cllr Bailey said the Fenland Flag had been inspired by the success of the Black Country Flag, adopted in 2012.  

She said endorsement of the Fenland Flag would create a strong sense of identity for local people.  

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Mr Bowman, a local resident vexillographer embarked on the design and promotion of a flag for the Fenland area in 2016.  

Cllr Bailey said: “Mr Bowman writes that the symbol of the Fens is the Fen Tiger and that this designation derives from the, sometimes violent, opposition of the local population to the fen drainage schemes of the 17th century.  

“‘Fen Tiger’ is a well-known and well used nickname for someone from the Fens; many associations and businesses in the area use the term, sometimes with logos that feature tigers.” 

Cllr Bailey said Mr Bowman has run a successful campaign since 2018 to encourage take up and usage of the flag “with the ultimate aim of having the flag officially recognised through inclusion in the registry of the Flag Institute”.  

Cllr Bailey said businesses supporting the flag campaign include those from the travel and tourism sector, food manufacturing, catering, and boating. 

Community clubs, the private boating community, FACT Community Transport, and Ely Tourist Information Centre were also supportive.  

“There is good evidence of widespread use of the flag and it is included on the British County Flags website,” she said..  

The council agreed to thank and congratulate Mr Bowman and his colleagues on the success to date of the promotion of a flag for Fenland. 

They also voted to “encourage and endorse the inclusion of the flag in the registry of the Flag Institute”.