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New South Wales Police Force (Australia)

Last modified: 2018-08-01 by ian macdonald
Keywords: new south wales | police | bicolour: blue-white | sea eagle | new south wales police service | badge: new south wales | arms: new south wales |
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[NSW Police flag] image by Miles Li, 14 October 2004

See also:

Description of the House Flag

The New South Wales Police Service has the Police Service badge (as seen at the Police Service website) on a light blue over white bicolour. It is used swallow-tailed on bikes.
Jonathan Dixon, 4 January 2001

A detailed description can be found

The badge, explained on an unofficial police site, represents the Crown as protector, overseeing law and justice in NSW. It comprises a disc surrounded by a wreath (symbolising achievement and victory as in Ancient Greek contests) and surmounted by a crown (symbolising the authority of Her Majesty's Government). The disc is blue, with a white ring bordered black on the outside containing in black the words "NEW SOUTH WALES" (top) "POLICE SERVICE" (bottom). On the blue disc, the badge of the NSW flag appears above a Wedge-tailed Eagle with wings upwards carrying a red scroll with the word "NEMESIS". The eagle imitates the Roman Eagle, symbolising the law of the state, tracing back its origins to the law taken to Britain by Julius Caesar. Nemesis was the Greek goddess of chastisement and vengeance, signifying justice and retribution. Below the wreath is the Latin motto "CULPAM POENA PREMIT COMES' in black on a white scroll. This is translated as "'Punishment follows close on guilt', 'Punishment is a companion pressing closely on crime', or 'Punishment swiftly follows crime'.
Jonathan Dixon, 1 October 2008

Note that the badge originally read 'New South Wales Police Force', later changed to 'New South Wales Police Service', and now simply 'New South Wales Police'. Note also that the eagle clutches a red ribbon with the word 'Nemesis' written on it.

Most Police Stations in NSW fly only the State Flag; when there are two or more flagpoles available, the National Flag and/or Police Flag might also be flown. It is not customary to fly the Police Flag on police boats. When on ceremonial duty, police motorcycles fly a swallow-tailed version of the Police Flag, and horse-mounted police fly plain dark blue-above-white swallow-tailed lance pennons.
Miles Li, 14 October 2004

The history of the name is: first NSW Police Force, then NSW Police Service (1990), then simply NSW Police (2002), and then back to NSW Police Force since Miles' report was made (2006). While the flag and its swallow-tail version are used in ceremonial functions, it is not regularly flown other than at a few places such as headquarters. The flag currently flown outside the mounted police centre on Baptist St in Redfern demonstrates that (predictably enough) the change in name is not considered important enough to ditch the older flags - the badge on that flag still says simply "Police". (The badge mounted on the wall is obviously even older - it reads "Police Service").
Jonathan Dixon, 3 March 2008

New South Wales Police Banner

[ Obverse, NSWPS ceremonial flag ] [two-sided]
image by Herman FMY, using image of arms from the NSW Parliament website, 10 Mar 2007
[ Reverse, NSWPS ceremonial flag ]
image by Herman FMY, 18 Oct 2008 | [two-sided] [reverse] [sinister]

New South Wales Police also have different flags and banners for general hoisting and for parading. The parade banner at the National Police Memorial ceremony was plain blue, with the badge of the service at the centre. The flag is fringed in silver as well. Photo reference: No. 5 by Terry Browne.
Herman FMY, 25 February 2007

The ceremonial banner of the New South Wales Police has different obverse and reverse sides. The obverse side of the ceremonial banner is blue with the Arms of New South Wales at the center while the reverse side shows the New South Wales police badge on a blue field. On the ceremonial banner, the motto-scroll is detached from the badge and slightly lengthened unlike its normal depiction, such as on the general-use service flag. The ceremonial banner is completed with white fringes, cords, and tassels.

Sources: Australian Federal Police’s National Police Memorial Dedication photograph collection. Reverse profile: no. 57 by Mike Combe; Obverse profile: no. 31 by Brian Hartigan
Herman FMY, 10 March 2007

Photo 5 by Terry Browne mentioned above shows the banner carried on a pole with a finial in the shape of an eagle as it appears on the badge.
Jonathan Dixon, 1 October 2008

The manufacturer of the banner was Spear of Fame, Melbourne.
Presented: 29 September 2006 at the Domain by the Administrator to the Commonwealth of Australia at the Domain in Sydney.
Housed in the Banner case in the foyer of the Sydney Police Centre, Surry Hills, New South Wales.
Mark Elm, 1 August 2018

Lance Pennon

Having looked at the National Police Memorial photos website, I can now summarize the patterns of lance pennons used by mounted police in each Australian state and territory:
New South Wales: dark blue above white. Proportions 1:3; swallowtail 1/3 the pennon length.
Miles Li, 13 March 2007

Nemesis Pennant

The Nemesis Pennant of the NSW Water Police is the police pennant flown by NSW water police vessels. The Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol is also entitled to fly it due to the fact that, during the early days of the RVCP, its members were 'Special Police Constables' of the 'Water Police Reserve'. In this case, it is a trapezoidal flag, 1:2, quarterly white and navy blue; in the canton is the word NEMESIS sans-serif in red; in the lower fly is the initial RVCP sans-serif in red. The RVCP is entitled to fly it due to the fact that, during the early days of the RVCP, its members were 'Special Police Constables' of the 'Water Police Reserve'.
Miles Li, 25-26 Aug 2002

1981 Proposed flag

[Proposed flag of NSW Police Force (1981)] image by Clay Moss using NSW Police Force artwork, 12 Feb 2008

Detail of badge
[Badge of NSW Police, as appearing on the proposed flag] image by Clay Moss using NSW Police Force artwork, 13 Feb 2008

Here is the old proposed flag of the New South Wales Police Force. Over the last several years, I had seen more than one sample of this flag on Ebay but would run into a brick wall any time that I tried to investigate its origin.

I finally ran into the NSW police historian, and he shared the story of the flag. In 1981, the NSW Police embarked on a campaign to have a flag designed for the police force. Among the proposals was the blue ensign above. Its inspiration came from the NSW Fire Brigades flag.

In the end, the ensign was not chosen. Evidently, there were those in the police force that thought that the ensign would end up being the flag, and as a result, a fair number were made up. I'm not sure how many flags were made all together, but it was apparently enough to justify printing them.

I have seen 4 samples of the ensign. 3 were of the printed variety and have NEW SOUTH WALES POLICE spelled out on the inner circle. The one other sample I have seen is made by Artlina flag makers in Brisbane, and says NEW SOUTH WALES POLICE FORCE.

Either way, the flags were prototypes only and were never official. Now you know the story.
Clay Moss, 12 February 2008

The modern name "New South Wales Police Force" was also the original name, used in 1981. This could explain its use in the sample seen by Clay.
Jonathan Dixon, 3 March 2008

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