Product images of House flag, Palm Line Ltd
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House flag, Palm Line Ltd
The house flag of the Palm Line Ltd, London. A rectangular green flag with a white saltire. In the centre there is a white disc with a green palm tree. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. The hoist and palm tree are cotton. The flag is machine sewn. A rope and toggle is attached. The flag is based on the winning entry of a competition organised through the company magazine 'Progress' in the 1930s.
Palm Line came into being in 1949, being the new name for the United Africa Co. The UAC had been formed by the merger of the Niger Company and the African & Eastern Trade Corporation. In 1920 Lever Brothers purchased the Niger Company in order to consolidate its position on the West African Coast as it imported palm oil from this area its soap manufacturing business. The founder of the company William Lever, Lord Leverhulme, died in 1925 leaving the company in a vulnerable position but by 1929 the fortunes of the Niger Company were reversed and, after a protracted struggle with its rival the African & Eastern Trade Corporation they merged to form the United African Company. By 1962 Palm Line was operating the most modern fleet on the West African Coast and served some forty ports between Morocco and Angola. However after this date economic difficulties in Nigeria and Ghana led Palm Line to reduce its fleet by 50% by 1972. In 1974 the company chartered its first container ship. After initial success, trade declined and the fleet was gradually reduced until in 1985 Unilever decided that running a shipping line served no useful purpose and Palm Line was sold to Ocean Transport and Trading PLC of Liverpool. In 1989 the name of Palm Line finally disappeared from the British Registry. The nomenclature and trading rights were sold to Delmas Vieljeux of France.
- Image reference: F2628
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Pope Collection. We regret that Museum enquiries have not been able to identify the owner of the flag's emblem and would welcome any information that would help us update our records.