Aughton is a civil parish in West Lancashire centred around a village of the same name with a population of approximately eight-thousand people.
Finding pre-existing features for a flag for Aughton was quite difficult. There’s no emblem for their civic council. Oliver Cromwell’s Roundheads did have a victory in Aughton during the English Civil War, and there are lanes named after him, but in historical records it’s the Battle of Ormskirk, not the ‘Battle of Aughton’, and on top of that there’s little in the way of historical imagery to play off.
Nevertheless, Aughton is the location of Moor Hall, which has records that go back as far as 1282 and was purchased by Peter Stanley of Bickerstaffe in 1533. A little bit of research told me that the Stanleys were a fairly notable house in British history, descending from the Kings of Mann.
I felt like this was a good place to start. The Stanley of Bickerstaffe heraldry included a trio of golden stags’ heads on a blue diagonal stripe against a white background, which can be seen in the picture below.
From this, I took that imagery and search for a clearer flags head design using Google Images. I got this, which is almost identical to the Stanley stag.
Aughton has two areas in the south-west and south-east called Holt Green and Town Green respectively. This felt almost too perfect. I knew instantly that the flag of Aughton would have to include green as a colour. However to incorporate this, I would have to alter the coat of arms of the Stanleys to fit it into the Aughton flag.
So, by piecing together the three gold stags of Stanley with the blue ribbon, and the green in the South-East and South-West, this was my first attempt.
Not the worst flag ever. But something felt lacking. I tried again, this time as a horizontal tricolour incorporating the white from the arms of the Stanleys.
Not too shabby. But there’s something very republican about tricolours. That being said, the Roundheads did win the Battle of Ormskirk. I decided to try a few more times, using a Lancaster rose.
Still not good enough. I wondered if it was the white that was the problem, and replaced it with the yellow from the Lancashire flag.
It just looked more like a Latin American, African, or an Eastern European flag than anything else. I decided to pass on the tricolour design to find something different.
Etymologically, Aughton means ‘the place where the oak trees grow’. I did another search for oak tree symbols and I found this emblem designed for Recsk in Hungary was the least offensive to my eyes. I decided that I would toy around with this and go in another direction. Maybe I was over-complicating my designs. What I got were these.
I couldn’t finish on a design I actually liked. So, you tell me. Which of my designs do you prefer? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading.