House flag, Bristol Steam Navigation Co. Ltd

The house flag of the Bristol Steam Navigation Co. Ltd, Bristol. A flag with a field of white bearing a red saltire with the letters 'BSNC' in each quarter. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and toggle is attached. The company funnel colours were black with a white band until 1946 when with the introduction of motor ships, the house flag was painted on a panel on the funnel. During the 1950s the lettering was unofficially coloured blue on the funnels until management insisted it be reverted to black.

The shipping company ran services across the Irish Sea and to Welsh ports and was the first company to work the Bristol to Cork passenger route. The firm underwent various changes of name including, War Office Steam Packet Co. from 1821 to 1827; General Steam Packet Co. from 1827 1834; Bristol Steam Packet Co. from 1834 to 1835; Bristol General Steam Navigation Co. from 1831 to 1871 and Bristol General Steam Navigation Co. Ltd from 1871 from 1877. It was sold to Cork interests in 1877 and dropped 'General' from its title becoming known as the Bristol Steam Navigation Company. The passenger service ended in 1914, because of competition from Fishguard. The company continued to run general cargo services (particularly Guinness shipments) across the Irish Sea until 1980.

Object Details

ID: AAA0166
Collection: Textiles; Flags
Type: House flag
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Date made: circa 1951
People: Bristol Steam Navigation Co. Ltd; Pope, Charles Meredyth
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Pope Collection
Measurements: flag: 914.4 x 1778 mm

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