There’s another side to London.
Beyond the jurisdiction of The City.
Undiscovered by outsiders.
Loved by insiders.
An ever-changing place...
That teases our wildside and thrills our artside.
Blurs our workside into our playside.
Where we live on the brightside.
And explore our darkside.
Hidden in plain sight, this is Bankside.
London’s other side.

Throughout history, Bankside has been on the other side of London’s mainstream. Once London’s rowdy pleasure quarter, from bear-baiting to theatres, brothels to gambling dens, Bankside has always been the home of rebellion.

To celebrate this independent spirit Better Bankside and NB Studio challenged over 40 of the city’s leading artists and designers to create a flag for Bankside.

The flags will be hung in Borough Market's Jubilee Place for the duration of London Design Festival (15—23 September), before they are proudly flown throughout the area.

After the festival the flags will be auctioned to raise money for Better Bankside’s community partners.

Bids can be placed through this website from 4th October.

Alan Dye, NB

Bankside was the Elizabethan Las Vegas.
Everything that was fun, wicked and wrong happened here first.
Long Live Bankside, home of chaos.

Alan Kitching

Flags nearly always have a symmetry about them. The sobriquet ‘south of the river’ suggested to me a horizontal symmetry with the river being the natural dividing line. And making the emphasis that there is a lot happening in south London.

Alec Doherty

It’s a walk through Banksides history, from the bear bating in the 16th century to shakespearse globe, to the arts and culture hub that has become synonymous with Bankside today.

Alice Bowsher

There are so many great places to see and things to do in Bankside I have tried to squeeze them all into a flag.


This represents the rebellious history of Bankside.

The type is jagged and assertive. The raised, clenched fist is a symbol of defiance.

It is depicted as a graphic flag - much like one flown at uprisings - and in a simple red, black and white colour scheme, the design is bold and eye-catching.


Azman Adam

This flag is for all of the outcasts, outsiders, and rejects. Let Bankside celebrate all of the beautiful differences.

Brand 42

The arrows represent the magnetism Bankside has to the rest of London, luring punters to its bustling bars, restaurants and market, and higgledy piggledy cobbled streets brimming with culture and history. Banksiders aren’t shy of getting stuck into the mix with the punters. Long live the mayhem!

Dalton Maag

Taking the name 'Bank-Side', the areas enclosed in the letter 'B' and the letter 'S' (called 'counters') were isolated and combined to become an abstract graphic, that can also be read in two directions as this new Bankside flag flies proudly along the river. The result? A simple flag that can be used as a playful symbol and a powerful logo.

Dan Radley

Independence vs. Commercialism - it’s a delicate balance. As new business pours into Bankside, can the area hang onto its anti-establishment roots? I hope so because I love it just the way it is. Then again, there’s no such thing as a free empanada. Ts & Cs apply.


No Bullshit. This is Bankside.


Celebrating 6000 years at the centre stage of rebellion, Bankside has always been the bohemian hub of London – radiating an infectious spirit that has inspired a city of creativity.

Rebellious by nature and adaptable in it’s form, our flag makes a bold statement to the world that despite Bankside’s rich past, it’s just getting started.

Harriet Payler

Celebrating Bankside's rowdy history as the home of the brothels of The Bishop of Winchester. The Winchester Goose is back and she's ready to take her place at the forefront of Bankside's declaration of independence.


The design makes reference to some of the things that Bankside is known for - The Globe, The Tate, Millennium bridge, Borough market food, The Golden Hinde, The Clink etc - but abstracts them into strong graphic shapes to create a punchy design celebrating the eclectic spirit of Bankside. We have kept a colourful and bold colour palette incorporating the “Bankside” pink.

Jack Renwick Studio

Hamlet’s iconic pose is recreated by two rebellious symbols – the raised fist and the Jolly Roger.

James Joyce

This abstract, graphic flag references both Bankside's history a few hundred years ago as a place for unsavoury and grizzly entertainment, in this case the white triangles represent the teeth of a bear (bear bating), while at the same time the energetic red zig zag running through the middle of the flag can be interpreted as a pulse or beating heart to symbolise this now regenerated, vibrant and cultural hub of London.

Jamie Breach


John Ross

At the heart of the design, three circles represent Bankside’s arts, theatre & entertainment. The simple border depicts Bankside’s residents and workers, with a small homage to Keith Herring.

Johnson Banks

Our design is based fairly and squarely on the massive ‘Bankside’ lettering that is affixed to the river wall adjacent to the Globe. As a monumental statement of a bold and brassy Bankside, the lettering and its ‘B’ say it all really.

Karl Toomey & Studio PSK

Blowing Against The Wind
Coming alive when hung from a flagpole, our flag features a series of arrows that always point in the same direction as the wind is blowing. That is except one arrow, which always points in the opposite direction to the wind. A fluttering salute to Bankside’s rebellious spirit.

Kelvyn Smith

Radical behaviour on the south bank / a rowdy pleasure quarter / puce faces / grotesque forms / a swirl of activity / topsy turvy orientation.

A grotesque ‘puce’ wood letter character with attitude / bold / confident / idiosyncratic / historic / disfigured ‘revolting’ as in revolting or revolting (causing intense disgust or take violent action against).


Our flag is a playful tribute to the Winchester Geese, the Bankside prostitutes that once operated in the stews (brothels) on the Bishop of Winchester’s land.

Laura Bowman

Boob B. A nod to Bankside’s raunchy past.

Lily Norwood

When designing the flag I was inspired by rebels going against the norm and 'against the grain'. This design is an abstract way of visualising Bankside going against the norms of society.

Louise Sloper

The two strips converging (straight and wavy) represent the pathway along the Thames bank – the literal translation of Bankside – and drawn in the style of an old map. However, as with the area itself, when you look closer it is vibrant and full of incredible history.

As the literary distinct of Ye Olde London, it seemed only right… Playing with words, innuendo and double meanings, it brings to life Bankside’s colourful past, whilst mixing in references to the modern day; all set in Albertus (the City of London’s font) as a cheeky nod to the City’s distain of the area.


Our design hijacks the language of flags to give Bankside a sense of location, on the south bank of the river, and makes use of the dual sided nature of a flag to say something about the independent thinking, alternative nature of the area.

Marion Deuchars

I chose a bear because of the history of bear baiting in the area, but decided to draw an anthropomorphic one (or in other words; cute). Another inspiration was one of my characters from Let's Make Some Great Fingerprint Art.

Michael Wolff

Hares have a long history of mythological meanings. In medieval days they were associated with lasciviousness and overt sexual interest. The hare was once regarded as an animal sacred to Aphrodite and Eros because of its high libido. Live hares were often presented as a gift of love. Since, in medieval days, Bankside was London’s district of fun, frolicking, drunkenness and general naughtiness, and since most of London’s brothels and places of entertainment were in Bankside, I thought this formerly notorious district should be celebrating the hare - a wonderfully mad animal that symbolised what Bankside was in its heyday, once again.

Morag Myerscough

Nick Finney, NB

Bankside’s 'Commit No Nuisance’ sign reimagined. A call for visitors and dwellers to have more fun, within reason.

Olly St John

A twist on the sign that hung outside the "Globe Tavern, the pub that sat adjacent to the famous Globe Theatre.

The original sign depicted Hercules holding the world on his shoulders, and the caption underneath read"Totus mundus agit histrionem”, "All the world acts a play”.

Paul Davis

There was acting and bear baiting in this place called ‘Bankside’ in the olden days although probably not at the same time. Now the acting persists, especially Shakespeare at the Globe, and this is Bear-let doing the 'alas poor Yorick' scene.


It is about the river, water, two sides, one with a twist.

Peter Gibbons, Borough Market

To reflect the 'Independent Spirit of Bankside' and with a nod to Borough Market, I've used the idea of a produce-related protest and chosen a thrown tomato as a symbol of rebelliousness.

The calyx of the tomato is a star, evocative of both revolutionary symbolism and flag graphics in general. Bankside pink is included on the left hand edge to imply the location of the miscreant.

Peter Judson

From the Golden Hind's record voyage, the boundary bursting Globe Theatre, the historic ruins of Winchester Palace and to this day maintaining that revolutionary fervour by converting an unused power station into one of the worlds leading art galleries, Bankside has always managed to walk the tightrope between the avant-garde and establishment.

I wanted to celebrate this spirit with a ridged yet unbalanced and adaptable symbol, surmising that the hobbled relics and revolutions are greater than the sum of it’s parts.


An abstract representation of our surroundings, this design subtlety captures the most iconic skyline feature in Bankside – Tate tower.

Rachel Price

Earliest recorded uses of ‘Swagger’ are in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry IV & King Lear. Meaning 'to strut in a defiant manner' reflecting the rebellious attitude of the area. Colours are taken from the mustards and greys of Bankside’s buildings and bridges.

Rebecca Sutherland

Banke Syde Coat of Arms

Sam Pittman

Bankside’s brothels were known as ‘stews’ – this design is a literal representation of the humble meat and two veg dish.


I’ve walked past Crossbones graveyard many times on my way to the Lord Clyde pub. Over the years it has revealed itself more and more in a way that is so difficult today: Mysteriously. My flag is a celebration of people who died without recognition and are buried there: The Outkast Dead!


From Blackfriars to London Bridge, Bankside can be reached by six river crossings. This flag celebrates these bridges as the symbolic borders of a vibrant and independent district, brighter than the rest of the city, and identified by an iconic letter B with the Millennium Bridge at its heart.


Backside: Bawdy Brothels & Bottoms Set in Avant Garde Gothic Bold. 

The Clearing

Together, we raise our fists to ordinary.

We are not confined by the city’s walls. And we don’t conform to the rigid rules of society inside it. We stand proudly as the people of Bankside, fighting for the arts, fighting for individuality, fighting for freedom of expression. Just as we’ve always done.

This is the flag of rebellion. Long may it wave proudly across the river.

Tim Howard

For centuries, Bankside has been home to a convergence of the impossible. This flag celebrates the area’s unique character through a monument, depicting a ziggurat that is as impossible as the area itself, its many faces resolving into one singular side: Bankside.

Wilfred Wood

‘The sound of business’.