Last modified: 2005-12-31 by rob raeside
Keywords: pitcairn | united kingdom | oceania | blue ensign | anchor | bible | wheelbarrow | bounty |
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by Graham Bartram, 16 March 1999
Flag adopted 2 April 1984, coat of arms adopted 4 November 1969
Pitcairn Island's flag is a Blue Ensign with the island's Coat of Arms in the centre. The design was suggested by the Pitcairn Island Council in December 1980 and approved by HM The Queen in April 1984. The flag was flown on Pitcairn for the first time in May 1984, during a visit by the Governor the late Sir Richard Stratton. The flag measures 6' x 3'.
The description of Pitcairn's Coat of Arms, which was granted by Royal Warrant dated 4th November 1969: Azure on a Pile in base Vert fimbriated Or a representation of the Bounty Bible proper and in base of the Anchor of H.M.S. Bounty Or. And for the Crest on a Wreath Or and Vert on a Mount Vert a representation of the Pitcairn Island Wheelbarrow in front of a Slip of Miro leaved and fructed proper.
Information received by letter of 2 August 1996 from the Office of the Governor of Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Island in Auckland, New Zealand.
Jos Poels, 7 August 1996
The flag of Pitcairn is pictured in the book "The Flags" by Eric Inglefield in the 1970s. He reported that the flag was hoisted in 1970, when the islands became a separate territory. Was it an unofficial flag between 1970 and 1984?.
Jaume Ollé, 10 August 1996
I think Eric Inglefield was wrong. I possess a letter from the Public Relations Officer of Pitcairn - Irma Christian (yes-yes, a descendant of THE Christian!) - of 11 March 1981, where he states: "I regret to inform you that we have not a flag of our own. It was once planned to have our own designed flag but at the time the cost seemed so expensive that nothing further was done."
Jos Poels, 12 August 1997
I suspect that this flag doesn't exist. Pitcairn Island has only some few
dozens of residents and it is would be expensive for them to make flags. I doubt
that it has ever been manufactured even if it exists by law. The Pitcairn Island
governor lives in New Zealand and a special flag is not specially needed.
Jaume Ollé, 13 July 2002
The British High Commissioner to New Zealand is Governor of Pitcairn. I guess
that he must go there once in a while, and has a flag for the occasion. He is
probably entitled to fly the flag of Governor of the Pitcairn Islands only when
he is within the political limits of the islands.
David Prothero, 15 July 2002
How many flags were worn by the ship Bounty? And what kind of flags?
Being under Admiralty orders she flew a Red Ensign (with the 1606 Pattern Union in the canton) almost certainly from an ensign staff at the stern (by this date in proportions of 1:2), and a red commissioning pendant from the main masthead. Other than signal flags, and unless in action, she would wear no other flags except for a Union Jack from the bow, whilst at anchor. HMS Bounty was flush-decked and 'unrated', and it is unlikely that the 18th Century practice of sometimes flying a Union for the fore masthead would have been applied to so small a ship.
Christopher Southworth, 22 January 2004