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New Calne flag trumpets heritage of town
A new town flag is now flying proudly above Calne after being unveiled at an official ceremony on Thursday.
The design, by Calne man Kevin Hatchman, was the winning entry in a competition run by the town council, and was raised for the first time last week.
Councillors, residents and students from John Bentley School gathered at the town gardens for the historic moment.
Mr Hatchman, of Quarrydale Close, said his family helped with the winning abstract design.
He said: “Having lived in the town my whole life and seen many changes for the better over recent years, I truly believed the design of a new flag for Calne should be something striking, modern and symbolic.
“I thought it should be an emblem representing where our town has come from, offer pride in what it has become and inspire the community to believe in its future.
“My design is based around the theme of Calne and its reason for being here.”
The blue and green in the design represent the River Marden and Calne’s surrounding countryside, while the white stripe symbolises the chalk landscape.
The gold band linking the colours is a salute to the town’s history, celebrating the discovery of oxygen by Joseph Priestley in Doctor’s Pond in 1774.
Mayor Howard Marshall said: “I am very impressed. This flag is striking the very first moment you see it.”
The flag, which was chosen from nearly 20 entries, had to be checked out with the National Flag Institute to ensure that no part of the design was already in use in another town’s flag. It is now flying alongside the Wiltshire county flag and the Union flag.
The three flagpoles were put up in the centre of Calne following an ongoing battle between councillors and campaigners to fly the Union Flag above the town hall. After a year of heated debates councillors decided at a meeting last October not to display the flag on the building, voting instead to put up the poles in the town gardens.
Speaking at the time the then deputy mayor Howard Marshall said: “We chose this location as it is a nice restful place where people can pay their respects. I am glad the matter has been resolved in a way in which I hope everyone will be happy.”
All three flags now fly permanently above the town council offices.
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