Product images of Chinese junk flag
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We only use premium branded inks, and colours are independently verified to last between 100 and 200 years.
Chinese junk flag
An Imperial Chinese junk flag captured during the First China War 1839-42. It is part of a collection belonging to Sir Robert Oliver (1783-1848), Superintendent of the Indian Navy. The flag is made of silk with a cotton hoist and is hand sewn. It is a triangular shape coloured green with a blue hoist and red indented border. There is a silver and gold dragon and pearl motif in the centre surrounded by cloudsâ”œÂ½Ã”Ã»Ãªâ”œÃ¯ the dragon has four toes. Lightning flashes are shown in the borders.
The flag was used by the Commander-general of Guards Brigade of the Eight Banners. Banner (qi) was the basic social-political-military organization of the Manchu people and the core of hereditary soldiers in the imperial Qing military organization. The Manchus originally organized themselves into four Banners named after the colours of their flags â”œÂ½Ã”Ã»Ãªâ”œÃ¯ yellow, white, red, and blue. These Plain (zheng) Banners were early doubled by the addition of four bordered (xiang) counterparts, namely, 'Bordered Yellow', 'Bordered White', 'Bordered Red', and 'Bordered Blue'.
According to Da Qing Huidian Tu (Illustrated Collected Statutes of the Great Qing), it seems that there is no particular rule regarding the colour of the flag. Yet it is stated clearly in the Statues that the design of the flag (cloud and dragon in this case) should be gold-painted. The borders with lightning flashes are either red or white in colour. A red border is applied on the flag used by the guards brigade of 'Xiang huang' ('Bordered Yellow'), 'Xiang bai' ('Bordered White'), and 'Xiang lan' ('Bordered Blue') Banners. [May Bo Ching]
Sir Robert Oliver became Superintendant of the Indian Navy in 1837, a post he would hold until his death on 5 August 1848. The Indian Navy was the naval arm of the Honourable East India Company. It provided steamers that played a crucial role in naval operations during the First China War as were able to penetrate the interior of the country along its rivers.
Original size: 1535 mm x 1195 mm
- Image reference: L0143
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London