A DESIGN created by a retired council worker who died earlier this year has been chosen by the public to become the new flag of East Lothian.

Archie Martin's design (see below) was one of four chosen out of 620 entries to be put forward to the public vote in the East Lothian Courier-backed competition to create the county's civic flag.

East Lothian Courier:

Sadly, Mr Martin, from Gifford, died suddenly in July, just days before the finalists were unveiled.

His family gave the local authority permission to keep it in the contest and last night it was revealed it had won the backing of the public.

The winning flag features the Saltire design on blue to mark East Lothian’s status as birthplace of the national flag.

A gold cross signifies the wealth of East Lothian’s farmlands and reputation as the granary of Scotland and the Haddington lion is also prominent, along with blue stripes to represent the rivers Esk and Tyne.

East Lothian Provost John McMillan said: “It was an emotional evening and an absolute privilege to be there at the announcement of the wonderful winning design.

"I think this is a simple yet eye-catching design which I hope will very quickly become a strong symbol of East Lothian and adopted by groups and residents for many years to come.

"It was very sad that Archie, a very much loved and missed former council employee, could not have been there to hear that his design had come out top of a very tough competition but I’m delighted that his family were so pleased with the news.”

East Lothian Courier:

Originally from Musselburgh, Mr Martin worked at East Lothian Council for 23 years joining from Orkney Islands Council in 1990.

He was a landscape architect and worked in planning dealing with many of the local authority's environmental improvement projects including the landscaping of the front of the council buildings and Corn Exchange, on Haddington's Court Street, which used to be a car park and Civic Square and Winton Place in Tranent.

Lord Lyon Joseph Morrow attended the unveiling of the winning flag and sent his best wishes to Mr Martin's family.

He said: "I look forward to recording the flag in the historic register of the Lyon Court."

David Williamson, chairman of the Scottish Flag Trust, said: “The Scottish Flag Trust initiated the idea of a design competition for a civic flag for East Lothian in the summer of 2017, and we are delighted to see it come to fruition.

"I think everyone can be pleased with Archie Martin's distinctive flag design which attracted a clear majority of votes."

The competition to design a unique flag for East Lothian was launched in November 2017 and captured the imagination of both local people and even those as far away as the USA and New Zealand, as 623 entries were received from people of all ages and from all over the UK and further afield.

Judging began in March 2018 with an initial sift of the huge number of designs submitted – the most in any civic flag design competition across Scotland. The final designs to go forward for the public vote were chosen and voting began in summer 2018 for a period of four weeks. A total of 1,532 votes were cast.

The design has now been registered with the Lord Lyon and will be available on the Scottish Flag Trust website at www.scottishflagtrust.com shortly for anyone with an interest in East Lothian to view and use.