Black Country Flag Sticker
|Manufacturer||Vinyl Cut Graphics|
In April 2012 the Black Country Living Museum launched a competition to design a flag for the Black Country. The competition was launched in response to a campaign by the Parliamentary Flags & Heraldry Committee, encouraging local communities to develop their own flags to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II and the United Kingdom's hosting of the Olympicsduring 2012.
The creation of the flag was used as the catalyst for starting an official Black Country Day & Festival in 2014. Black Country Day was first introduced in March 2013 but later moved to July 14th to mark the anniversary of the invention of the Newcomen beam engine.
In July 2017, West Midlands newspaper the Express & Star reported that then recently elected local MP Eleanor Smith had described the flag as "racist" and "offensive" and wanted it to be scrapped, citing possible slavery connotations of the chain imagery and colours. Responding to criticism, Smith said the flag made her feel "uneasy", and that she had been expressing the concerns of some constituents, but denied describing it as racist. She was not re-elected in the 2019 General election.