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Falkland Islands - 19th Century flag

Last modified: 2012-05-22 by rob raeside
Keywords: falkland islands | bullock | falklands island company |
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[Former flag of the Falklands] image by Steven Shea

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Description of the flag

When the system of defacements to the blue ensign was introduced in 1865, the instruction was that the ensign should be defaced with the 'seal or badge' of the colony. In the Falkland Islands, the circular picture of a ship and a cow/bull/bullock was the seal from 1846 until 1925. So it was used on the first blue ensign sometime after 1865 and probably continued in use until 1948 when the 'sheep above a ship' was used on the flag. But between 1925 and 1948 the seal of the colony was a shield with a port quarter view of a sailing ship on a blue background, overlaid in the lower left half of the shield by a seal (the marine mammal) on a brown background. Was this ever used on a flag?

David Prothero, 13 July 1997

The 'Bullock Triumphant' was approved 1876. It was based on the existing seal which had been designed when, 'wild cattle were the dominating feature of the Colony'. I have an idea that it was also a punning reference to a Captain Bullock who was involved in the early history of the Falkland Islands.

David Prothero, 9 January 2000

Governor's flag

[Former governor's flag] by Steven Shea

The governor's flag of the Falkland Islands contained the badge on the Union Flag.

Steve Shea, 19 August 1997

Falklands Islands Company

[Falklands Islands Company flag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 20 December 2005

[Click here for an image of the original flag.]

I recently moved into my late grandfathers house in Stanley, Falkland Islands. I found this flag in the loft. I have searched the net for the motto and have had no luck. I have no idea of the origins of the flag. Can you help?
Chris Harris, 16 November 2003

It is probably connected with Samuel Fisher Lafone who in 1846 purchased that part of East Falklands south of the isthmus at Darwin Harbour. He ran into difficulties and was bought-out by the Falkland Islands Company in 1851. It is difficult to see, but I think that the same arms appear on the 10p stamp issued in January 2001 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Falkland Islands Company. See and
David Prothero, 17 November 2003

[Falkland Islands Trading Co., Ltd. houseflag] by Jarig Bakker

From this site ( we find the house flag of the Falkland Islands Company - blue with a blue diamond outlined white, with in the center a white F. "It is not known when the Company's house flag was introduced but it certainly existed in 1868 when it was mentioned by Cobb."
Jarig Bakker, 17 November 2003

The series of stamps can also be found at as Indeed, this stamp shows the said arms, but it doesn't show any reason to connect them specifically with Samuel Fisher Lafone.

This series also includes the 20p stamp we list as Stamp #00483, which is listed as a 2002 stamp, rather than a 2001 stamp, and indeed, other sites list the series as being from 2002 as well. It would appear the stamp's year correctly would be 2002. The company website (, mentions a Royal Charter issued in 1852, which might explain the year of the celebratory issue.

Concerning the actual flag of the Falkland Islands Company, it's from the same source, and appears on the 20p stamp in the same series, which is the Flags On Stamps stamp #00483 mentioned above.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 25 March 2012