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Advance Australia

Date: 1901 - 1908
Overall: 420 x 380 mm, 200 g
Medium: Silk, metallic thread
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Embroidered silk panel
Object No: 00029930
Place Manufactured:Nihon

User Terms

    This Japanese hand embroidered silk was produced as a souvenir for sale to visiting Australian seamen. It features an embroidered unofficial Australian Coat of Arms, consisting of a shield flanked by an emu and a kangaroo, a red ensign, a white ensign, a rising sun, and the legend 'Advance Australia'. The large silk panel was originally blue, but has faded to silver over time, along with the central cross of the white ensign.

    Unlike the shield of today's Australian Coat of Arms (which displays symbols of the six states), this shield features the cross of St George with four gold stars in the centre. In the quadrants are the 'golden fleece', a sailing ship, a pick and shovel, and a sheaf of wheat.
    SignificanceThis silk embroidery is significant in documenting the development of Australian ensigns and coat of arms at the turn of the 20th century. It is also an excellent example of a Japanese handmade souvenir, produced for sale to visiting Australian seamen.
    HistoryThis coat of arms design incorporates the red ensign used by merchant vessels registered in Australia, and the white ensign of New South Wales which was used widely during the campaign to bring about Federation at the end of the 19th century. This version of the red ensign features the five stars of the Southern Cross and a six pointed star representing the states. It was gazetted for use in 1901 and stayed in place until 1908 when the star was changed to seven points - the extra point denoting current and future territories.

    The coat of arms featuring the rising sun, an emu and kangaroo, with the motto 'Advance Australia' had been in general - although unofficial - use since the mid 19th century. It was not until 1906 that the coats of arms of the newly federated Australian states were granted, and 1908 for the coat of arms of the Commonwealth of Australia. This version, with a few minor modifications such as the replacement of the emu with a lion, then became the coat of arms of the state of New South Wales.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Embroidered unofficial Australian Coat of Arms

    Primary title: Advance Australia

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