Mid Ulster District Council has agreed its new logo - a traditional shield shape which incorporates elements of the three merging councils’ existing emblems as well as aspects of the new Mid Ulster region.
The new branding will be rolled out from April this year when the council becomes responsible for the services currently provided by Cookstown, Dungannon and South Tyrone and Magherafelt councils.
The traditional shield shape is intended to recall the intricate, heraldic coats of arms which councils have used widely in the past, but is a clean, modern interpretation, helping to signify the beginning of a new era said the council.
The three spires - of St Swithin’s, Our Lady of the Assumption and 1st Presbyterian churches - which are synonymous with the town of Magherafelt are included, as is a castle, representing the ancient seat of the O’Neill’s and the Dungannon area’s association with the old kings of Ulster.
A wheat bundle which is a feature of Cookstown’s current crest refers to the significance of agriculture to the area, both in the past and present, and is a symbol of the rural landscape and community.
Helping to suggest a sense of a new united region which spans two counties, the shield also portrays two oak leaves around the red hand of Ulster. The red hand appears in the crests of both Cookstown and Dungannon, and is also part of Dungannon’s logo.
Mid Ulster’s geography is also referenced, with a rolling line in the centre of the shield acknowledging an important landmark – the Sperrin mountains – and four ‘waves’ representing the waters of Lough Neagh.
Speaking about the new brand, Councillor Cáthal Mallaghan, Presiding Councillor (Chair) of the Council, said: “I believe we have created an identity which acknowledges where we have come from, by reflecting and blending our collective heritage, while also looking to the future and distinguishing Mid Ulster as a fresh, new organisation and a new region.
The Council has also agreed that, in line with a new draft Irish Language Policy, ‘Mid Ulster District Council’ will appear in English and Irish on the new logo.
However, as the policy is to undergo an ‘equality impact assessment’, the use of dual language as part of the new brandmark is an interim arrangement until the assessment is complete and the final policy agreed.