Recorded in the spellings of Flag, Flagg, Fleg, Flegg, Flieg, Fliege, Flieger, and Pfleger, this medieval surname can be English, German, or Swiss. The confusion arises mainly because of the spellings Fleg and Flegg, which were recorded in all three countries. It is probable that with those spellings as with Flieg(e) and Flieger, the origin is the pre 7th century word 'pflege' meaning a judge or possibly a foster parent, although there is or was also a place called 'Flige' in Germany. The English spelling as Flag or Flagg is definately locational and originates from the village of Flagg in the county of Derbyshire. This village is first recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Flagum', a word of Scandanavian origins and believed to mean 'the place where peat was cut'. Locational surnames being 'from' names, these were usually given to people as easy identification, after they moved to another place. The further away they moved from their original homes, the more likely the change in spelling. Both Flagg and Flegg are well recorded in London, a John Flagge being recorded at the church of St Mildred Poultry on December 10th 1539, although the first recording as Flegg was not apparently until March 6th 1825, when Frederick Flegg was a witness at St Leonard's church, Shoreditch. In Switzerland and Germany the recordings are ancient, Gerhun von Flige, apparently a locational name being so recorded in the year 1220. Later recordings which are seemingly occupational include: Dietrich Flieger at Ulm, Switzerland, in 1338, and Counracht Fluger of Flugelau, Germany, in 1345.
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