The British expedition's boat flag has been preserved on Alger Island due to the sand in which it was located.
The Russian Arctic National Park has unveiled the oldest flag discovered in Franz Josef Land. The Head of the Historical and Cultural Heritage Department at the Russian Arctic National Park told TASS that it was a boat flag of the British expedition led by Frederick George Jackson in 1894-1897.
It [the flag] was hoisted over the boat as they sailed through the straits to signify themselves, the Head of the Historical and Cultural Heritage Department said.
The base of Jackson's expedition was at Cape Flora on Northbrook Island in the southwest of the archipelago, and the flag was found on Alger Island in the central part of Franz Josef Land at the camp of Evelyn Baldwin's 1901-1902 Norwegian-American expedition. However, according to the historian, the flag got there with the members of another American expedition led by Anthony Fiala, which took place in 1903-1905.
In 1904, the ship of the Fiala expedition sank and the support vessel was unable to make its way to the archipelago due to difficult ice conditions.
The members of the Fiala expedition headed to Cape Flora since there was a food base [at Cape Flora]. And there they picked up everything they could use, including a flag, I don't know, as a towel, maybe. They threw it away on Alger Island, where we found it later, the Head of the Historical and Cultural Heritage Department added.
A flag made of linen cloth has been preserved on Alger Island due to the sand in which it was located.
Now the flag is presented in the exposition of the National Park.
The Russian Arctic National Park is Russia’s northernmost and biggest nature reserve. The Park includes a northern part of the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago’s Severny Island and the entire Franz Josef Land Archipelago.