This morning, whilst sorting through the digitised photographs from the collection belonging to Mac Waters, one photo in particular jumped out at us. It was a postcard printed around 1900 labelled “The Quay, Penzance”, depicting boats moored in the harbour. Proudly flying from one of the boat’s masts is what appears to be St Piran’s flag. Or is it?
Read on and see the comments below to find out the full story.
As you can see, the original postcard is black and white with high contrast. It is possible that this is another flag, and that the black is another dark colour. However, it is perfectly possible that this is the earliest photograph featuring St Piran’s flag. The oldest known representation of the flag is from an 1888 stained glass window in Westminster Abbey.
Here is a crop from the scan at 100% showing the flag in more detail.
What do you think? Please leave a comment below if you know of any earlier photos featuring St Piran’s flag, similar photos from this period, or have any ideas or information about the photo. We will use any extra information to improve the entry on cornishmemory.com.