Paper banner inscribed 'WELCOME HOME', with Red Ensign motif.

Welcoming soldiers home from war service was a very important cultural act during and after World War I. Some families preferred quiet celebrations in private; others festooned their houses with proud banners and flags, announcing their pride, relief and patriotism. Some had their photographs taken with the returning soldier in uniform. Celebratory teas, dinners and social events were frequently held.

Most of the decorations used were ephemeral: banners painted on paper or cloth by hand, or inexpensive or repurposed flags that were later discarded. The survival of a paper banner such as this is particularly rare. It was acquired by Museum Victoria in Ballarat, at the same time as sweetheart bracelet HT 33621. Its particular provenance is unknown.

The Red Ensign was used as a civil Australian flag from 1901 to 1954.

Physical Description

Rectangle of yellowed paper printed with large inscription in blue, underlined in red, and with a red ensign flag to the left of the inscription. Heavily creased, with foxing, yellowing and one hole.

More Information