In April 2012 the Black Country Living Museum launched a competition to design a flag for the Black Country. The competition was launched in response to a campaign by the Parliamentary Flags & Heraldry Committee, encouraging local communities to develop their own flags to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II and the United Kingdom's hosting of the Olympics during 2012.
The flag owes its design to a quote made in 1862 by Elihu Burritt, the American Consul in Birmingham. He described the region as “black by day and red by night” — a result of the local furnaces giving out smoke and grime during the day and glowing by night. The flag background is therefore both black and red, with the chains showing a typical product manufactured in the area. The central white area represents the glass cone, a symbol of the region's glass-making heritage since 1790.