First up, Cornwall:
who the heck is Saint Piran? Well, he's the Patron Saint of both Tin Miners and Cornwall, which seems like an odd combination to me, but there you go. The flag gets his name, because of this:
St. Piran 'rediscovered' tin-smelting (tin had been smelted in Cornwall since before the Romans' arrival, but the methods had since been list) when his black heartstone, which was evidently a slab of tin-bearing ore, had the tin smelt out of it and rise to the top in the form of a white cross (thus the image on the flag.)Also, the Irish didn't like him much and, being heathens at the time, tied him to a millstone and tossed him into a stormy sea. Legend is that the sea then became calm and St. Piran floated to Cornwall in a pretty chill manner, where his first disciples were reportedly a badger, a fox and a bear.
The black and the white combination is also seen in the flag of Brittany, which claims some Celtic heritage the same as Cornwall does. (I'd have to look into it more, but I don't think any other 'Celtic' country uses the color combo on any other level, national or subnational. But I'd have to check to be sure.)
All in all, I dig it. The black and white combo isn't usually seen a lot of flags, which makes this one pretty striking. I like that the origin story isn't about abstract notions of Cornwall- it's a natural process associated with the region and rediscovered by it's Patron Saint.
Next up, Devon:
The three colors of the flag: green, white and black have long been associated with the county. Their Rugby Union team, Exeter University and Plymouth Argyle F.C. all use them. Lord Exmouth flew a flag with similar colors during the Bombardment of Algiers. There's meaning to the colors as well: The green stands for the rolling and lush hills of Devon, the black stands for the high and windswept moors (specifically Dartmoor and Exmoor) and the white is for the salt spray of their coasts lines and the China Clay industry. The flag itself is dedicated to St. Petroc.
Our journey around the counties of England has begun! Remember, until next time, keep your flags flying- FREAK or otherwise!