House flag, New Zealand Shipping Co. Ltd

The house flag of the New Zealand Shipping Co. Ltd, London. A white flag with a red cross overall and the black initials 'N Z S Co' in the quarters. A pennant divided vertically into red white and blue above. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. The pennant and flag is on a single rope with a toggle attached. The pennant was originally a 'steam cornet' flown to indicate that the vessel was proceeding under steam as well as sail. It was added to the house flag when the company acquired steam assisted vessels.

The New Zealand Shipping Company was formed in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1873 as a result of complaints about high freight rates. They purchased four sailing ships followed by 12 more built new for the company in the years up to 1877. Two further second hand sailing ships were acquired in 1876 and 1882 and many additional ships were chartered. The ships were fitted with a refrigerated capacity for New Zealand meat in 1881. The passage times between London and New Zealand for sailing ships were between 74 and 100 days.

In 1910 New Zealand shipping company took control of Canadian – Australian Line and recommenced services between New Zealand, Australia and Canada. In 1912 New Zealand shipping company took over Federal SNCO but they continued to trade under their own name and colours. In 1916 P&O took over New Zealand shipping company but the company continued to operate as before until 1973 when ownership of all ships was transferred to P&O Line and the separate existence of New Zealand Shipping Company ceased.

Object Details

ID: AAA0314
Collection: Textiles; Flags
Type: House flag
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Date made: circa 1955-67
People: Pope, Charles Meredyth; Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company New Zealand Shipping Co Ltd
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Pope Collection. Reproduced with kind permission of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.
Measurements: pennant: 711.2 x 2819.4 mm; flag: 889 x 1371.6 mm

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