Proceedings of the AICCM TSIG Symposium, Sydney, Australia 19 to 22 May, 2016

Upon presentation of a box labelled ‘Birdwood Flag’ from storage in Newcastle, thousands of tiny fragments of silk were discovered inside. These pieces are the remains of the Birdwood Flag, created by the Field Forces Fund in 1917 and presented on the front line to General Birdwood. This paper explores the procedures adopted to recreate the flag, piece by piece for display using as much of the original flag as possible. The sheer magnitude of the task was daunting, due to the unknown size of the flag and the thousands of pieces. Some pieces are smaller than a five cent piece, while the largest section is the size of an A5 sheet. The decision to recreate the flag was challenging due to ethical considerations and questions regarding military ‘laid up’ flags, the fragility of the silk, the placement of each piece within the ‘whole’ flag and the missing dedication plaques.

AICCM Textile Special Interest Group 2016 Symposium: Emerging Technologies in Textile Conservation
Paper author:
Skye Firth