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Postcard - 'Australians Welcome Americans', US Fleet Visit, 1908 Document Reg. No: HT 29455

Postcard commemorating the visit of the American 'Great White Fleet' in 1908. The Australian and American flags are shown drawn back like curtains on either side of the centre of the postcard where a circle encompassing a white ship out at sea and two larger circles, interlocked and encompassing the Australian and American coat of arms can be seen.

The white ship is likely depicting one of the battleships of the American 'Great White Fleet,' so called because they were painted white rather than the standard grey.

The first Australian coat of arms was granted by King Edward VII in May 1908 and it is this coat of arms that is used on the postcard. The 1908 coat of arms consisted of a blue shield encompassing a small shield with a cross of St. George 'defaced' with five white stars. Six smaller shields were also included inside the blue shield, around the large St. George shield. The shield was supported by a Kangaroo and an Emu standing on a grassy mound with the whole surmounted by a Federation star resting on a blue and white wreath. A scroll with the words 'Advance Australia' was unfurled along the base of the arms. The current Australia coat of arms was adopted four years later and was approved by King George V.

The American coat of arms depicted on the postcard is still in use today and was adopted by congress in June 1782. The coat of arms consists of a red and white striped shield with a blue chief supported by a single eagle, shown in flight and grasping a bundle of arrows in its right claw and an olive branch in its left. The eagle has its head turned to the left and clasps a scroll with the words 'E Pluribus Unum' ('Out of many, one') in its beak. Above the eagle's head is a 'glory' with thirteen stars on a blue background. The design was standardised in 1885 when a new die of the Great Seal was cut.
Colour print of the the Australian and American flags drawn back like curtains to show a circle encompassing a ship in the top centre and two larger circles below this, interlocked and encompassing the coat of arms of Australia and America.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 93 mm (Height), 140 mm (Width)

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Tagged with: flags, postcards, coat of arms commonwealth of australia 1908, american military forces, americans, coat of arms united states of america
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: PUBLIC EVENTS
Secondary Classification: US Fleet Visit, 1925
Tertiary Classification: souvenirs
Inscriptions: Printed in brown ink on the front of the postcard: 'AUSTRALIANS / WELCOME AMERICANS / 1908'
Printed in red ink on the back of the postcard: 'COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA / POST CARD / This space may be used for / communications ; The address only to be written here'
Date Manufactured: 1908
References: 'The Great White Fleet,' Department of the Navy -- Naval History and Heritage Command, at: accessed: June 8, 2012

Australian Government, 'Commonwealth Coat of Arms,' It's An Honour, at: accessed: June 8, 2012

Rick Wyatt, 'American Coat of Arms,' at: accessed: June 8, 2012

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