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Forming the flags, USA flag celebrations

Date: 1908
Overall: 85 x 136 mm
Medium: Printed ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00004059

User Terms

    The celebrations for the visit of the American Great White Fleet to Australia in 1908 are shown on this postcard. The hand coloured card shows the ceremony of 'Forming the Flags' and the large crowds of Australian spectators who watched the event. In Sydney, and a few days later in Melbourne, crowds of between 400,000 and 600,000 turned out to welcome the ships. Streets were decorated and special events were planned throughout the week.
    SignificanceThis postcard is representative of the production of postcards as souvenirs to mark the visit of the American Great White Fleet to Australia in 1908. It highlights the parades, public ceremonies and events that were organised for the enthusiastic Australian public.
    HistoryIn 1907 American President Roosevelt ordered the Atlantic Battle Fleet of the US Navy on an ambitious voyage around the world. In December 1907 led by the flagship CONNECTICUT, the Atlantic Fleet consisted of 16 battleships painted white as all US Navy ships were in times of peace. The ships sailed in four divisions of four ships each and visited six continents, 26 countries and 32 ports. It carried 614 officers, 13,504 other crew and consumed 435,000 tons of coal, more than any other naval expedition. It was the largest fleet to ever accomplish a circumnavigation.

    One quarter of the Australian population saw the Great White Fleet during its three-week visit to Sydney, Melbourne and Albany. Public holidays were declared and enthusiastic crowds flocked to see the ships and parades. A vast array of souvenirs was produced for a population caught up in the euphoria.
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    Web title: Forming the flags, USA flag celebrations

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