Queen Victoria Banner Flag


1 in stock


The two yard or one metre x 1.75 metre banner flag features a Queen Victoria crown on the colours of the United Kingdom – red, white and blue.  It was made, retailed and rented by S Walder & Company Pty Ltd, NSW.  This company established in 1856, specialised in goods made from canvas – in particular tents. They are the oldest of the traditional canvas companies in Australia that were in their 118th year in 1974.  For many years the company had three spheres of operation: canvas manufacturing, canvas hiring and Venetian Blind laundering.  Then during a period of internal difficulties, it retracted its operation to the most profitable of the three activities – hiring.  At the end of 1974 the company was reborn under new ownership and relocated to Cleveland Street, Chippendale, Sydney.

S Walder 100 Flags range were also for hire.  100 national flags were for hire along with flag poles.  It’s likely that this flag was made to commemorate Queen Victoria Day or Empire Day, which was last celebrated in Australia in 1958.  S Walder were famous for their celebrated ‘baloon house’ tent.  It had no poles or pegs, could withstand a gale of 70 miles an hour.  Made of special breathing fabric, it was clamped into position before air was pumped into it.  During the War the US Air Force was using similar structures in Alaska, staking them into the solid ice.  The baloon house was hired in every state in Australia and as far afield as Fiji.  The Snowy Mountains Authority maintained one on top of a mountain for seven years to store its equipment.  At a trade fair in 1973 vandals slashed one with a knife, hoping to see it collapse, and were puzzled as well as disappointed.  It’s secret was not as some supposed, a second skin, but a massive air lock.

Sir Samuel Robert Walder born 1879, died aged 67 in 1946.  He was managing director of the Walder company and Lord Mayor of Sydney in 1932, the year in which the harbour bridge was opened and a member of the city council for thirteen years.  It was Samuel’s father who established the company in 1856.