Last modified: 2020-07-31 by ian macdonald
Keywords: customs and excise department: hong kong |
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image by Martin Grieve
Department flag, until 1997
by Martin Grieve and Miles Li
by Martin Grieve
Jaume Ollé sent me the scan to work from and informs me that "Service was created September 1909. Flag date adoption unknown. 1-7-1997 changed"
I shall start off with the badge detail, although really
there is no need to 'bring out' an enlarged detail, as it
occupies something like 8 or 9/tenths of the flag hoist
dimension. I include it here only for posterity - and besides
that I like badge details. Here goes - Crown and central
badge are a faded pink colour in the scan, whilst the 'string
of pearls' remain white - Again it is a variation of the
standard British Crowns, but rather Edwardian I would
propose. Who really knows if the crown had undergone an
'overhaul' following UK change in 1953 and for that matter no
less thn 3 different badge details would have existed during
this time span.
Martin Grieve, 16 August 2003
It is interesting to note that the Chinese ideograms for 'Customs' was read from left to right, instead of the traditional right to left. While individual Chinese ideogram is always written from left to right, whole line(s) of ideograms were traditionally read from right to left (whether in rows or columns). Today this rule still applies to columns. (Hence the joke 'Foreigner Looking at the Roll of Honour' - the last is mistaken to be the first!) For rows to be read from left to right - no doubt inspired by Western practices - began only in the 1950s in the PRC, and became universally accepted practice in the 1970s. So the Customs badge (and flag) probably dated from the 1970s.
On a side note, I think the guy who designed the badge
definitely had done his homework. Not only he chose the flag
colour green (the traditional Chinese customs colour), but
the presence of Chinese ideograms, in itself unique among
colonial badges, is very beautifully written in /xiao zhuan/,
a font dated from the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC).
Miles Li, 17 August 2003
by Martin Grieve
Green is the traditional colour of HK Customs, which is
borrowed from the Imperial and Nationalist Chinese Customs. I
have a reproduction of the badge in a magazine, which was
poorly printed in a dark bluish-green colour... hence the
confusion above. One might be surprised that the 'free port'
of Hong Kong even has a customs. It does, its main roles
being the taxing of imported alcohol and tobacco, and the
prevention of contraband smuggling.
Miles Li, 8 August 2003