Historical information

The flag represents The Mission to Seafarers worldwide organisation. From about the year 2000 particular flag was once flown from Flagstaff Hill's masthead on top of the turret on the St Nicholas Seamen's Church but this practice ceased around 2010 for safety reasons.

The Australian beginnings were in 1856 when the Church of England (Anglican Church) established the ‘Society for Promoting Missions to Seamen Afloat, at Home and Abroad. Lord Shaftesbury was the first President and Mr William Kingston was the first Secretary. Its Constitution declared: (1)) the Object is the spiritual welfare of the seafaring classes at home and abroad. (2) In pursuance of this Object, Society will use every means consistent with the principles and received practice of the Church of England.

Mr Kingston’s wife and sister designed a flag to clearly depict the Society’s Objects. It depicted the first of the three angels in Revelation 14, who possessed ‘an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. The ‘Flying Angel’ (the angel of Revelation) became the official logo of the Society and gained great popularity.

In July 2000 the Missions to Seamen changed its name to the Mission to Seafarers to better reflect the group's function, an unbiased society that cares for all who earn their living at sea. The Logo was modernised and simplified, the word changed to 'seafarer' to be gender-neutral. The angel logo no longer holds a book (Bible).

The organisation states: “The Mission to Seafarers is an Anglican organisation ... The Mission offers fellowship and a warm welcome in centres where seafarers can relax away from their ships, meet local people and contact their homes, from ports around the world. The Mission provides and promotes” …

“The Mission to Seafarers now has a presence in 200 ports in 50 countries worldwide. This makes us the largest sea-port-based welfare organisation in the world. We provide support to seafarers 365 days per year, regardless of their rank, nationality, gender or religion”


This flag was a gift from the Mission to Seafarers Victoria at the time of the organisation's change of name from the Missions to Seamen. It was flown from the Masthead on top of the turret on the St Nicholas Seamen's Church at Flagstaff Hill from the years 2000 to around 2010.
The donation of this flag signifies the ongoing association between the historical organisation and St Nicholas Seamen's Church building at Flagstaff Hill', which displays an extensive collection of furniture and furnishings from that organisation's Williamstown branch.
The design on the flag is an example of several updates of the flag over the organisation's lifetime.

Physical description

Flag, fine linen, The Mission to Seafarers. Rectangle of blue fabric with white text around white flying angel logo. Flag has a plastic hook on top of the halyard.

Inscriptions & markings

Printed "THE MISSION TO SEAFARERS" and logo of FLYING ANGEL symbol