Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby Argus » 27 Aug 2015 03:38

Pardon me sticking my nose in, but the whole 'naval' side might be a red herring if you'll pardon the pun.

The Red Ensign had a wider role, as pretty much the default flag for any colony/official body not granted it own distinctive one (at that moment in time), and that was often the red duster with an additional device/s, while the red ensign was also the standard available for private persons to use.

I'm not trying to suggest any specific reason a red duster might have been on Majuba Hill, I really don't know enough about the place and period (one reason I so enjoy this board). But I don't think one can automatically assume some 'naval' linkage to every use of the Red Ensign either.


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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby RobD » 27 Aug 2015 08:10

If they were shot through by bullets that many times, they were likely used for target practice. As a South African, that would be the most instinctive explanation. Whether they were at Majuba or not, nobody can say.
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby GaryD » 28 Aug 2015 04:14

Much of history has been passed from one generation to the next without provenance. Often it seems that over time the story degrades and the truth is only a ghost of the story, but even when the family records it for accuracy through out the years, rarely can it ever be 100% authenticated. Keep the story with the items for posterity, perhaps the truth is somehow close to it. While the adage you have to buy the item not the story is true, far too often collectors discount intrinsic value on the basis of financial value. Separating items from their stories because they can't be authenticated is how history is truly lost.
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby charla51 » 17 Jan 2016 18:57

After the action at Zwartkopje, when the British artillery nearly fired on the Pretoria Carabineers by mistake, that unit, and Nourse's Horse carried a red, and the other a blue flag, in the field, according to DuVal ("With a Show Through South Africa").

I was wondering whether "Majuba" might be a euphemism for the Transvaal War in general, and whether the red ensign in question here might be one of those flags carried by the Pretoria Carabineers?

Of course, there's no way of establishing that provenance either.
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