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A large white cotton flag for the Taranaki Military Settlers. " TARANAKI / MILITARY / SETTLERS / N. VI / COMP " is stitched on a blue shield with a gold border. The shield covers a the portion of the flag where two large red bands cross." CLIFTON / INSTITUTE " is written on either side of the 'V" shaped cut.
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This is the flag of the No. 6 Company of the Taranaki Military Settlers. Formed in 1865, the Taranaki Military Settlers were commanded by William B Messenger until they were disbanded in 1869. Many men in the group were recruited from the goldfields of Otago and Australia. After serving three years they were granted land confiscated from Maori. A Major was entitled to 400 acres (about 100 hectares) while a private received 50 acres. Many men did not take up their properties but sold them, and purchased other land, or moved on to other areas. The Clifton Institute was probably an educational organisation formed by members of the Armed Constabulary garrison at Pukearuhe station at the time, the township was called Clifton.

This particular flag has a mysterious and interesting history. During the raid at Pukearuhe in 1869, the Maori raiding party took this flag and Gascoigne's (Commander of the redoubt) sword as tokens of their success. The flag came into the possession of Ngati Maniapoto via Hari Wahanui's uncle, and on April 1 1914, Wahanui presented the flag, along with Gascoigne's sword, to the Minister of Defence James Allen. The Dominion reported this as being "returned as a token forever cementing the bonds of peace between two races". The flag was discovered in 1952 in the General Assembly Library, Wellington, by Dr. G.H. Scholefield, when he was researching the Richmond Atkinson papers for publication.
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