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Lambing Flat Museum, Young


Textile conservation


A hand painted cloth banner with the Southern Cross emblem, and the slogan “Roll Up, No Chinese”.

During the gold rush in Lambing Flats there was a huge influx of migrants in search of wealth. The banner was made in response to the fact that the Chinese were tireless, productive and diligent workers, this caused envy and resentment among the rest of the diggers who saw them as a threat to their prosperity.

The “roll up” flag was carried in the brass band led procession which became the worst anti Chinese riots in Australian history. These riots significantly contributed to the legislation which led to the Federal Immigration Restriction Act of 1901 (the White Australia policy). 


On arrival the flag had patches of mould staining, water marks and general dirt and discoloration as well as both live and dead insects. Paint was cracked and crazed. Silk edging around the flag was split and torn in places.


  • Surface cleaned both sides of flag
  • Low oxygen treatment in nitrogen chamber to kill any remaining insect activity
  • Tears in canvas were not altered as they were a part of the flags history 
  • Mould staining was reduced during treatment, brightening the appearance of the flag
  • Silk edging was humidified, flattened and stitched back in place
  • After treatment the flag is now mounted on a light rigid board and displayed in a custom built protective display case in the Lambing Flat Museum by the Young and District Historical society     


Saving our local heritage, Collectables, Feb-March 07: CLICK HERE

Lambing Flat Museum, Young, roll up flag: CLICK HERE 

Objects through time, roll up banner: CLICK HERE

Roll up mouldRoll up hole

Mould staining

Insect infestation


Roll up silk edging

Detail of torn silk edging

Roll up BT

Before treatment

Roll up AT

After treatment