THIS year is the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, a hugely important battle won by Henry V in France. Henry V, or Henry of Monmouth was born on the 9th August 1387 in the Round Tower in Monmouth Castle, a site now occupied by Great Castle House. In the days of Henry V and at the Battle of Agincourt, flags were a means of showing allegiance and rallying points. Nowadays flags are used by communities, towns and organisations as a means of bringing people and communities together, and to display a sense of identity and pride.

Monmouth Town does not have a flag, so there is to be a competition to design a flag for the town which will be a free, public symbol for all to use and which will raise recognition and awareness of Monmouth nation-wide, express the pride in our local community, celebrate the heritage and culture of our corner of Wales and the UK and support the wide range of Agincourt 600 celebration events being run by volunteers from in and around Monmouth.

The competition launches today via the Beacon, the Shire Hall and online. Individuals, schools and other groups are invited to submit flag designs in line with the competition terms and conditions in the competition entry pack. The deadline for submissions is 4pm on Friday 12th June 2015.

An assessment panel, chaired by Monmouth Town Mayor and including the High Sheriff of Gwent, representatives from Monmouth Town Council, Monmouth Historical Society and the Flag Institute then will choose a final set of designs to be put to a public vote. The designs will all be drawn to the same standard.

The vote will be held online and by ballot from members of the public visiting a display of the final set of designs at the museum/Shire Hall commencing on Friday 26th June. The result will be announced online on Wednesday 15th July.

The winning design will be registered in the Flag Institute's UK Flag Registry. The new flag will be flown for the first time at a launch event and award ceremony for the winning designer in the Shire Hall on Friday 31st July, after which limited numbers of the new flag will be available for purchase and to be flown publicly and privately throughout the Town and local communities.

Entry packs may be obtained from the Shire Hall or online. Entries should be addressed to: Monmouth Town Flag Design Competition and submitted in hard copy to: Shire Hall, Agincourt Square, Monmouth NP25 3DY, or online to: [email protected]">[email protected].