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Image credit: L McPartlan


We are inviting you and your group to take part in this project, by sharing your  story and designing an illustration of it, to be transformed into a beautiful silk flag. This year, Nairn Book and Arts Festival – the town’s annual celebration of the arts and Highland culture – is aligning its creative programme with Visit Scotland’s ‘Year of Scotland’s Stories’. In a major partnership with Kinetika and artists and storyteller Lizzie McDougall, we will be working 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 will feature in several special events over the course of the festival period – 27th August – 4th September. They will form 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

Get Involved

Artist and storyteller Lizzie McDougall will run a 1.5 hour workshop with your group to gather your stories and sketch out ideas for your flag. For any enquiries contact Nairn Book and Arts Festival via Mandy Murray ( and Tanera Bryden (

Have a think about what might feature on your flag and which theme works best for you. Will your flag reflect your activities as a group? What does your group represent? Who belongs to the group? Where do you meet? Will it tell a story about your school / community / the area’s history / feature a well-known ‘Nairn character’? Brainstorm ideas, collect resources: images, old street maps, photographs, logos or trademarks, lettering, articles, stories and anything that will help you start to create ideas for your flag.

Download the Resource Pack for full information about the Flag Making Project and further information about how to prepare for the workshop.

NB. Download is 19.4MB

Download Resource Pack


A community flag project in Grays, Essex. Painting the silks.

Key Dates

6th – 27th May – Group workshops with Lizzie McDougall

13th / 20th June, 6pm – Kinetika Zoom Sessions with Kinetika’s Ali Pretty

20th – 30th July – Flag making with Ali Pretty at Nairn Community and Arts Centre. Various dates and times.

27th August – Flag walkabout and parade at Nairn Book and Arts Festival’s High Street Takeover

30th August – Special Kinetika event at Nairn Community and Arts Centre, including sharing group flag stories

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 will be inspired by our chosen 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.

Sources of inspiration and what happens next are contained in the flag design pack

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

Logo of Kinetika