House flag, Burns and Laird Lines Ltd

The house flag of Burns and Laird Lines Ltd, Glasgow. A blue rectangular flag bearing a gold lion rampant, crowned holding a globe. Originally the house flag of G. & J. Burns Ltd, the similarity to the Cunard house flag reflects George Burns's early association with Samuel Cunard. The company livery and house flag went out of use in 1976. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. The details on the lion are printed. A rope and toggle is attached.

Burns and Laird Lines Ltd was an amalgamation of two old-established Glasgow companies that had pioneered steam services between Scotland and Ireland. George Burns had been involved in the development of steam shipping around the British coast; his brother James remained a provision merchant. Their company was known as G. & J. Burns from 1842. Alexander Laird was a shipbroker working with various steam packet companies running from Greenock. From 1868 Alexander A. Laird & Co. became sole agents for the Glasgow and Londonderry Steam Packet Company. This became the Glasgow, Dublin and Londonderry Steam Packet Company Ltd in 1885 also known as the Laird Line, a name formally adopted in 1906.

Laird Lines joined Coast Lines Group in 1919 followed shortly afterwards by G. & J. Burns Ltd on the death of the founder's son John Burns. The company name, the Burns & Laird Line was adopted in 1922. The company livery combined the Burns house flag with Laird's funnel. The Coast Lines Group succumbed to competition from road transport during the 1960s and was taken over by P&O in 1971. Coast Lines two Irish Sea services were amalgamated under the name Belfast Steamship Company Ltd. The last vestige of Burns and Laird disappeared in 1976.

Object Details

ID: AAA0183
Collection: Textiles; Flags
Type: House flag
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Date made: circa 1955-67
People: Burns and Laird Lines Limited; Pope, Charles Meredyth Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Pope Collection. Reproduced with kind permission of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.
Measurements: flag: 1219.2 x 1828.8 mm

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