100 years on, Union Flag which Scott took to South Pole goes on display

Friday, 14 October 2011

The Union Flag which Captain Scott carried on his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole has been carefully unfurled by Royal Collection staff, for its inclusion in an exhibition to mark the centenary of race to the Pole. 

The flag was presented to Scott by Queen Alexandra (widow of King Edward VII), and found with his body.  It appears in the exhibition, (October 21 - April 15), alongside photographs presented to King George V by the photographers from Scott’s expedition of 1910–13 and Shackleton’s 1914-16 voyage.

The flag can also be seen in photographs alongside the final five who made it to the Pole, on January 17, 1912.  When they arrived, they discovered that Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian team had beaten them by a month. 


Scott’s party set off to return home, but all had perished by March 1912.  Later that year, a party set out discover the fate of the five missing men.  Their tent was found on 12 November 1912, and the flag was retrieved along with letters and negatives and bodies of the remaining three. Two had died earlier.  Scott’s widow, Kathleen, returned the flag to Queen Alexandra in July 1913.  It was then displayed at Queen Alexandra’s country residence, Sandringham House, Norfolk.

Book tickets