Culture and heritage


Fly leaf in album presented to Duke of York, 1927

This album of photographs of New South Wales was produced by the Government Printing Office, and presented by Premier Jack Lang to the Duke of York (later King George VI) during a Royal Visit to Sydney in 1927. The fly leaf of the album features a bucolic scene of the NSW countryside with a NSW Coat of Arms floating serenely above the landscape, and the Premier's signature in the lower corner.

Neither the identity of the heraldic artist nor the reason for developing a new official representation is known. However, this representation dates from the time of the first premiership of Jack Lang, and a period when he was being accused of subverting the State's constitution by seeking to abolish the Legislative Council. It was at this time that he announced he would extend 'a hearty welcome' in 1927 to the Duke and Duchess of York during their planned visit to NSW.

The Duke and Duchess were on a five week tour of Australia, beginning in NSW on 26th March when the couple arrived in Sydney Harbour to be greeted by the first million-plus crowd in Australian history. The main purpose of their visit was for the Duke to formally open the new Commonwealth Parliament building in Canberra, which he did on 9th May.

The NSW Coat of Arms featured on the album fly-leaf is the short-lived 'Lang version' that only seems to have been used during the later part of Lang's first premiership of 1926-1927. The album was printed by the Government Printing Office, and the representation of the Arms is likely to have been produced by one of the Printing Office artists.

Some questions to research:

  1. Are there any symbolic values being alluded to in the depiction of the NSW Coat of Arms floating above the countryside?
  2. Were there other events during the Interwar period in NSW that are reflected in changing approaches to official heraldry and symbols?
Image source: GPO 1 - 02801, State Library of NSW, Picman


Page last updated: 01 September 2012