Flying the flag

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About this collection

HSBC’s house flag was in use by the 1890s at the latest. The design, a white rectangle divided diagonally to produce a red hourglass, was based on the cross of St Andrew. This was perhaps a nod to the Scottish roots of our founder Thomas Sutherland. In fact, there were said to be so many Scots in the firm that we were once nicknamed ‘Home of the Scottish Bank Clerks’. For many decades the flag flew outside HSBC offices. In the 1980s it was adapted to produce our distinctive Hexagon logo.