Image credit: Ali Pretty




On this page

Image credit: L McPartlan


In 2022, Nairn Book and Arts Festival – the town’s annual celebration of the arts and Highland culture – aligned its creative programme with Visit Scotland’s ‘Year of Scotland’s Stories’. In a major partnership with Kinetika and artist and storyteller Lizzie McDougall, we worked with local community groups to develop a collection of 20 stunning silk flags, encapsulating in striking visual form, just some of Nairn’s stories – who we are, what we love about our town, where we come from, and the characters, histories, languages, myths and legends that make up the identity of Nairn, and the wider area of Nairnshire.

The flags featured in several special events over the course of the festival period and formed a community resource with a legacy to be built upon and expanded. Thank you for helping us to create a legacy of community will and spirit through difficult times and a beacon of hope for a brighter future.

Flags on a beach, held by poles in the sand with the tide coming in

Kinetika’s Beach of Dreams in Nairn in 2021, photo by Mike Johnston

Sea goddess Storm in Nairn in 2021, photo by Mike Johnston

Flag Parade – 27 August 2022

Images all by Alex Williamson, Findhorn Bay Arts

Further Key Dates

30th August – 1 September – Two Day Scarf Painting Workshop with Ali Pretty, book your place. 

4th September – Flag installation encircling Wallace Bandstand as part of Nairn Book and Arts Festival’s Finale Day.

Traditional Scottish storyteller and artist, Lizzie McDougall, photo provided by Lizzie McDougall

Flag Inspiration

The flag designs have been inspired by the following themes:

  • Sea Adventurers – at work and play

Sea swimming, catching the waves, paddleboarding, kayaking, sailing, creatures of the sea – basking sharks, dolphins and the Silver Darlings. The fishing industry, charts, compasses, Nairn’s safe harbour to generations of boats, and tales of seafaring adventures.

  • Growing and Sowing

Tree planting, apple growing, allotments, planting of seeds, green spaces, green ways through Nairn, Nairn in Bloom, farmland, cultivating the land, forests and marshes, Nairn birdlife – the Seeds of an Idea.

  • Folk Tales and Folklore / Yarns and Yarns

Tales and tunes handed down, historical events, mythological events, strange events, funny events! Superstitions, old wives’ tales, old maps, disappearing villages, heroic rescues, sunken ships, crofts, castles, mermaids, selkies, fairies and wizards .‘Ne’er cast a cloot till May be oot’

  • Characters of Nairn

Dr Grigor, William Gordon and his tin wings, Charlie Chaplin, the Fisherwoman, local people in history, historic and iconic buildings.

The Nairn Fishwife sculpture by Ginny Hutchinson and Charles Engebretson, image credit: Shutterstock

Flag Designs

Click on the flag below to read the story about its inspiration and design.

Logo of Kinetika