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Brief History of the Flags Festival

The Senior Flags is one of the oldest Lacrosse competitions in the World. It has been the premier event on the northern lacrosse calendar since 1883.

Originally called the Flags Final Challenge. The trophy was a large finely detailed embroidered flag.

The embroidery depicts two lacrosse players dressed in the kit of the period stood on each side of a shield, with the winning Clubs of the previous seasons scrolled on each side. The original Challenge Flag has now been permanent display since 1898 at Stockport Lacrosse Club.

Today’s the Senior Flags trophy is still a flag however there are now two of them to represent the two flags used as goals in the early days of the sport. The design of the flags takes elements from the original challenge flag including past winners and the shield.

The event grew into a true festival when Manchester Waconians began hosting in the late 80’s, and introduced more and more games to the schedule including for the first time junior games.

In the late 90’s the Senior Flags were aired live on Sky Sports TV and featured commentary from Channel 4 and BBC Sport’s American Football expert Mike Carlson.

The festival moved to Brooklands Hulmeians in the early 00’s and then finally to Rochdale Lacrosse Club in 2003 where it has been ever since.

Today the “Flags Weekend” encompasses many of the junior and senior trophies that have been establish as the game has grown over the years. In 2011 the festival hosted fourteen different games including for the first time the women’s championship final and play-off game.