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Vexillologist Arthur is flying the flags to learn more of other countries

PUBLISHED: 08:02 20 September 2016

Arthur Farrants from Filby with his collection of flags.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Arthur Farrants from Filby with his collection of flags. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

©archant2016

With a flag collection of more than 200, Arthur Farrants believes he may be the region’s only vexillologist.

For the past two years, the 86-year-old has been building a collection of flags, both domestic and international.

It began with the Union Jack, however Mr Farrants’ fascination grew, leading him to source flags from all across the globe.

And it is not just national flags attracting his interest - he already has flags representing different regions of Australia, Germany and Canada - as well as Great Britain.

He said: “Collecting flags is a great hobby to have as you learn all about countries of the world, the people that live there and their values.

“However, it is quite unusual and people often question why I do it. They think it’s a bit childish, but you really do learn a lot about a place just from its flag.”

Mr Farrants has two flag poles outside of his home in Filby, one of which flies his own family crest. He added; “I don’t think the importance of flags is taught in schools enough, so people just don’t understand their significance.

“In a time of drudgery it is nice to have a flag flying outside your house.”

Among the colourful flags in Mr Farrants’s collection are a number historical flags, including the flag of William I - the Duke of Normandy.

“I think if people knew what flags mean, there would be fewer wars in the world,” he said. “Flags tell the stories of the country, county or region they belong to and the links between them.

“However, sadly there isn’t much interest in them, which I think is a great shame.”

Mr Farrants is a member of a federation of flag collectors which has led him to hold the belief that he may be the region’s only vexillologist.

He said: “I haven’t come across anybody else from Norfolk who also collects flags, so perhaps I am the only one.

“The hobby hasn’t been as expensive as you might think either - not one of the flags I have bought has cost me more than £6.”

He gets flags from a supplier who lives in Devon - who himself has around 4,000 flags - and his current focus is on collecting all of the regional flags of Wales.

“Welsh flags are beautiful - as all the ones I have are,” he added. “They are all so colourful and striking, so I think more people should fly a flag.”

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