BOLTON should have its own civic flag once more, according to a councillor.

Cllr Zoe Kirk-Robinson will table a motion suggesting a new standard for the borough at tonight’s full council meeting.

She believes a flag would act as a symbol of civic pride and community and give the people of Bolton something to rally around.

Cllr Kirk-Robinson, who represents Westhoughton North and Chew Moor, said: “I think it will achieve a little bit more community spirit. I’ve been researching it for a while and in towns that have adapted a flag it’s a symbol of civic pride.

“In places like Chicago and Amsterdam you see more town flags than country flags. People take a lot of pride in it, it’s a symbol of community spirit and I think we could do with something to rally around.”

And while she has no fixed ideas of what the flag should look like, Cllr Kirk-Robinson says it is vital the people of Bolton have their say.

She added: “The one thing I have said is you would want people from the community to put forward their ideas.

“We could use the current Bolton crest, with a red background and diagonal gold stripes – that would look quite imposing.

“But my better half thinks a flag with a gold elephant would look quite nice. We’re looking for something that says ‘Bolton’.

The town's elephant obsession has been researched by a number of people who have come up with various possibilities for the animal’s high regard.

It is believed its association could well go back as far as the Middle Ages when the animal had been seen by very few Europeans, particularly in the wild, and strange stories were told about it.

Cllr Kirk-Robinson has asked for a Policy Development Group (PDG) where councillors and possibly other interested parties could get together to discuss the idea and make a policy.

Cllr John Walsh, Conservative member for Astley Bridge, said: "I think it's a great idea. We used to have a flag in the late 70s.

"It was a white flag with a blue emblem, which is the centre piece of the coat of arms, a crown with an arrow through it, which is actually a pun on the word 'Bolton'."

Cllr Walsh explained the Saxon words for arrow and crown were bolt and tun.

Farnworth and Kearsley First representative, Cllr Paul Sanders said: "If it moves on from the motion, each of the towns and suburbs need to be represented on the design, we don't just want Bolton-centric imagery. While we're a 'Bolton family', let's embrace the other areas."

Cllr Kirk-Robinson said: "It would be up to the community if they want to adopt it.

“If you don’t have a symbol for the town you leave it up to commercial enterprises like the football team or other groups and the success of the town is related to that group rather than the town itself.

“It would be nice to see it around and at least flown from the town hall and library.”

The Conservative councillor said that the cost of implementing a new flag would be minimal and would that she would like to see cross-party support for her idea.

She said: “I’m hoping for support, it’s not a political thing. It’s a town spirit thing, a civic pride thing, so I would hope for support.”

The motion also puts forward that the ‘Bolton Flag’ be flown during civic functions and that ‘organisations, schools, community groups and other civic entities’ be encouraged to fly the standard as a means of enhancing pride in the community.