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Trafalgar Union Jack Options
Tomick
#1 Posted : 12 March 2010 14:56:59

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The only surviving Union Jack from the Battle of Trafalgar was recently sold at auction for more than 20 times its predicted price!

The flag, which was flown from one of Nelson's warships, HMS Spartiate, during the naval battle off the Spanish coast in 1805, was only expected to fetch £10,000 to £15,000, but it sold for £384,000 including a buyer's premium of 20%, at the Trafalgar Day Sale in London, the hammer price was £320,000, the lot was bought by a bidder on a telephone at the auction.

It was presented by the 540-strong crew to Fife-born Lieutenant James Clephan after the conflict, a high honour bestowed upon an officer by his men.

The flag was sold by one of his descendants living in Australia.

Clephan, who later went on to command his own ship, was one of the few men to have risen through the ranks and was greatly admired by his crew.

The flag, measuring 2.23 m x 3.53 m, is made of 31 panels sewn together by the crew on board the ship.

It bears a number of 'battle scar' - holes caused by shot and shell splinter damage sustained during the conflict.

The flag is the only known surviving Union Jack from the battle.

Clephan, from Scoonie in Fife, spent his early years as an apprentice weaver and went on to join the Merchant Navy.

He retired in 1840 with the rank of captain and lived in Edinburgh for 11 years until his death at the age of 83.
jj44
#2 Posted : 15 March 2010 12:55:15

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what aboiut the flag from HMS Minotaur?
Tomick
#3 Posted : 15 March 2010 18:12:08

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Unsure, other than at the time the afore mentioned flag was being reported as being the only surviving Jack from Trafalgar.

Mark
#4 Posted : 16 March 2010 21:55:33

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At the risk of being pedantic, as it's a Royal Navy flag, is should be called the Union Flag, not Union Jack. In the navy it was only referred to as the Union Jack when flown.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Flag

I hate to be picky, but as an ex-sea farer it's one of those traditions I like to see upheld. It's an interesting article though, and an amazing piece of history that has survived.

Cheers
Mark
Hoover
#5 Posted : 17 March 2010 08:11:04

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Interesting stuff, though did I read or dream it that 'Jack' came in as a result of the Union flag being flown from the Jack mast?
Mark
#6 Posted : 17 March 2010 14:52:47

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Hoover wrote:
Interesting stuff, though did I read or dream it that 'Jack' came in as a result of the Union flag being flown from the Jack mast?


You're quite correct, it does come from the flag being flown from the jack mast or jack staff as it's sometimes called.
jj44
#7 Posted : 17 March 2010 15:54:41

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I have done a bit of web tralling and there are lots of comments like "I'm sure Minotaurs flag is still around somewhere".

After a while I found this link to a Minotaur site:

http://www.minotaur.org/trafalgar.htm

The very last line suggests that two flags from the battle were presented to Selling Church:

After Trafalgar, the Neptuno's ensign and the Minotaur's Union Jack were presented to Selling church in Kent by Stephen Hilton, master's mate of the Minotaur. They remained on display at Selling for nearly 200 years, and recently were on display at Deal Maritime and Local History Museum. We are waiting to hear news of future plans for the flags.
Tomick
#8 Posted : 17 March 2010 16:49:57

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Well if another exists from Trafalgar, all the hype about the one for sale in the action being the only one must be untrue, seems someone paid a lot of money for it in the belief it was the only one remaining.
jj44
#9 Posted : 18 March 2010 10:21:17

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Yeh, somebody might have overpaid for the recent one!!

I'd be interested to know if the Minotaur story is actually true though - never sure about what I read on the web!
PAULS101
#10 Posted : 27 March 2010 21:04:27

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who brought the flag?
Tomick
#11 Posted : 27 March 2010 21:18:56

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The buyer was an American flag collector who hopes to arrange to display the flag in a British museum, the flag also had the faint smell of gunpowder Cool
Peter C
#12 Posted : 07 April 2010 20:38:23

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During my school days we always referred to the Union Jack. However it is clearly not the appropriate name for the Union Flag. We now fly the Union Flag in our village and it is properly named by most people.

Peter C
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