Flag Waves: House Flags from the National Maritime Museum

by Sue Prichard


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From the Girl Guides to Greenpeace, Royal Mail and the Orkney Steam Navigation Company, Flag Waves presents a unique and visually arresting chapter in British maritime history.

House flags are a mix of striking, abstract designs and charming, hand-sewn motifs and were flown on boats of all sizes from huge passenger ferries to small recreational dinghies. Primarily produced between the mid 19th and mid 20th centuries, the flags are a mix of bold, geometric designs, reminiscent of early modernism, and quirky motifs, sewn in cloth. A beautiful book for design, textile, and craft lovers, packed with illustrations, many reproduced for the first time.

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With an introduction by Sue Prichard, Senior Curator: Arts, at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Flag Waves is the first book to examine the symbols and motifs of this remarkable collection. Analysing the origins of flag design in heraldry and geometric forms, and researching the unique role of flags in expressing company identity many years before the use of sophisticated logos and corporate branding, Prichard’s book provides a vibrant survey of the company flags flown by everyone from Greenpeace to the Girl Guides.

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Flag Waves: House Flags from the National Maritime Museum
by Sue Prichard

Clothbound softback, 152 pages, 25 × 23 cm
Designer: Claire Mason
Published 17 May 2021
ISBN 9781909829176