A row has erupted over what should be used as the Suffolk flag - as three different designs are now vying for the role.

Suffolk had used the county council's crest as its flag, featuring a sunrise, until 2007 when a campaign was launched to make St Edmund the county's patron saint.

For the campaign, which was launched by the EADT and BBC Radio Suffolk, Framlingham man Bill Bulstrode created a new crest, 'St Edmund for Suffolk', using elements from the East Anglian flag.

It included the St Edmund crest in yellow on a blue shield, set on a red cross on a white background.

However, now a third contender has now entered the flag wars, and has been officially registered by the Flag Institute, featuring the St Edmund crest in yellow on a blue background.

East Anglian Daily Times: St Edmunds Suffolk FlagSt Edmunds Suffolk Flag

However, Mr Bulstrode said he thinks we should keep the current flag because it has been used as the county's symbol for more than ten years.

He said: "The flag is more than ten years old, it was 12 years ago we launched it.

"We must have sold about 7,500 of the flags since then.

"We see sales accelerate up to Suffolk Day on June 21 then we have a bit of a lull until St Edmund's Day.

East Anglian Daily Times:

"I think it would be difficult to change it as the Suffolk Flag is everywhere.

"As well as thousands of flags we have also sold bunting and even mugs with it on.

"And its not just limited to us in Framlingham, there's lots of people who sell them."

But Graham Bartram, Chief Vexillologist at the Flag Institute claimed the registered flag's more simple design works better.

East Anglian Daily Times: Suffolk's former flag, featuring a sunrise Picture: ARCHANTSuffolk's former flag, featuring a sunrise Picture: ARCHANT (Image: Archant)

He said it was important that Suffolk's local authority and the county itself are kept separate, which would rule out the original council crest flag, and thought the 'St Edmunds for Suffolk' flag was too similar to the East Anglian flag design, both including a St George's cross.

He added it was very important for a county to have a flag, as it is important in creating a sense of identity.

BBC Radio Presenter Mark Murphy said he was backing Mr Bulstrode's design.

"That would be the one I go for because St Edmund was our patron saint, he was a real person and he lived and died here.

"St Edmund and the flag were adopted by the county council, really that should be our flag in my humble opinion."