The Bowman Flag (1806)

This complex flag with its swallow-tail fly was designed by John and Honor Bowman of Richmond NSW in 1806. The shield on the design shows the rose of England, thistle of Scotland and shamrock of Ireland. It commemorates the Royal Navy’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) a landmark event for Britain’s Australasian colonies. The design was hand painted, in oils, on silk made from Honor Bowman’s wedding dress. The flag is preserved by the Mitchell Library, Sydney, where it is displayed. The design was an inspiration for Australia’s National Coat of Arms which features a shield showing the six Australian State Badges supported by an emu and kangaroo.

The Bowman Flag (1806).