Culture and heritage


Reference card for Unauthorised Documents Act, 1922

The Unauthorised Documents Act 1922 was a small piece of legislation that contained only five sections, and dealt primarily with the making of unauthorised copies of documents, official or unofficial, that were tendered to a court as if they were officially sanctioned copies. Section three of the Act also prohibited the making of unauthorised copies of the NSW Coat of Arms which, until the making of the State Arms, Symbols and Emblems Act 2004 was the only piece of statutory heraldic law in NSW.

The administration of legislation that prohibited the making of unsanctioned copies of the Arms required, in turn, the production of a 'reference' version of the Arms. Perhaps the 1907 gazetted representation was initially used, but Gullick's successor as Government Printer, Alfred Kent, printed this card for such a purpose sometime before 1936. A notable feature is the use of Azure Celeste (light blue) rather than the darker Azure, to colour the field of the shield; and the reference on the card to this representation being copied from the Letters Patent for the Arms. It is very similar to, but not exactly the same as, the representation published in the Government Gazette in 1907.

Some questions to research:

  1. What might the use of Azure Celeste rather that Azure as the shade of blue in this official representation of the NSW Coat of Arms suggest?
  2. How important to authorities is the establishment of an official, authorised version of a coat of arms?
Image source: Original held in the collections of State Records NSW, reference: SRNSW: NRS 4472, [X720].


Page last updated: 01 September 2012