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British Empire

Dominions, Colonies, Protectorates, Protected and Associated States, Mandated and Trust Territories

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by rob raeside
Keywords: united kingdom | british colonies | british empire |
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When colonial flags were introduced in 1869 few colonies had arms. Most flag badges were based upon the Public Seal which every colony had to have. In 1905 the Colonial Office issued a Circular Despatch (No14 of 1905) encouraging colonies to apply for arms. However since the cost was not a Colonial Office expense, but a charge on the budget of the colony, the decision to apply was the choice of the Colonial Government. Many thought that arms were unnecessary, or not worth the cost. The heralds at the College of Arms were not paid a salary, and the only income they had as heralds were the fees they charged for designing and registering arms. I don't know what was being charged in 1905 but in 1936 the Gilbert and Ellice Islands were charged 25 pounds for their badge. This was considered very reasonable. Aden and Northern Rhodesia had each paid 50 pounds for their badges and St Lucia had also paid 50 pounds for a badge and new seal design.

Gold Coast and Gambia were granted arms in 1957 and 1964 respectively, in preparation for independence, and Sierra Leone's arms were replaced by a new design in 1960 just before independence.
David Prothero, 26 September 2000

List of Former British Dominions, Colonies, Protectorates, Protected and Associated States, Mandated and Trust Territories

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British Empire Flag

[British Empire Flag]  provided by Andrew Thomson

[Click on flag for larger image.]

I would call this a patriotic decoration rather than a flag, in the sense that it was probably meant to be draped indoors, and not flown on a flag pole.

It has the Star of India in the centre, four white stars on the St George's cross probably represent New Zealand, the arms of Australia, Canada, and Union of
South Africa in the quarters. The South African arms were granted in 1910. The maple leaves on the Canadian shield were blazoned in 1921 and changed from green to red in 1957.

It might have been produced for celebrations in connection with the Silver Jubilee of George V in 1935, or the Coronation of George VI in 1937.

David Prothero, 2 July 2002

The Australian Coat-of-Arms was the official one between 1908 and 1910.
As for the Southern Cross, I believe it stands for New Zealand.

Miles Li, 2 July 2002

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