A beautiful example of an original White Star Line flag, likely from a ship's tender.
This one-yard White Star Line flag is a beautiful example, and unlikely to have been used given its remarkable condition, and that no clips are attached. It is marked “1YD. WSL”, referencing the size of the flag (one yard), and the White Star Line.
The original vessel this flag belonged to is unknown, but the flag eventually made its way into the flag locker onboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2). Many Cunard-White Star Line items were transferred to the QE2 when it was put into service in 1967, with the flag being one of them. There it sat, carefully rolled and folded next to other flags and signal flags, until a Junior Deck Officer was asked to maintain the flag locker in 1978, which had turned into a jumble of discarded, worn, and out of date flags. Thankfully the flag wasn’t discarded, but instead saved and kept in storage for the next 40 years.
Original White Star Line flags are incredibly rare, given their fragile material and the harsh conditions at sea. In 1968, the flying of the White Star flag was discontinued and only the Cunard flag was flown by Cunard ships, except on one day of the year: April 20th, when the two flags were flown together in commemoration of the two companies being merged.