Personal Views

Flying the flag

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 31 August 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:501
  1. Andrew Bamji, consultant rheumatologist
  1. Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, Kent

    Our hospital has, since its foundation, had as its symbol the turkey oak (probably the oldest in the country) that was in its grounds. The oak tree was incorporated into the hospital's flag when the new building was commissioned in 1974 and our green flag with gold tree has flown ever since.

    But suddenly someone decided that the NHS must have a corporate “logo.” All of the old letterheadings were to be swept away, to be replaced by a nationwide, blue and white”NHS.” Reams of paper defined the new logo—its colours (Pantone 300 blue on white, or white on blue), its position, and the blank space around it. No variation would be allowed (though for laser printers a black and white version was also defined). All signs had to carry the new logo. The result is that all NHS letters now look the same, so it is difficult to tell at a glance where any letter has come from. …

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