The flag with inscriptions for HMS Swiftsure – British Pacific Fleet – 1945, and the Japanese cities Sasebo and Tokyo that sold for £2500 at East Bristol Auctions.

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The approximately 2ft x 2ft 10in (62 x 87cm) flag was seized by Admiral Cecil Harcourt on board the Minotaur-class light cruiser HMS Swiftsure, at this time the flagship of the British Pacific Cruiser Squadron. She was selected by Admiral Harcourt to hoist his flag for the Japanese surrender in Hong Kong on August 30, 1945.

Stored on the ship, the flag was later inscribed with the date and details of surrender.

Andy Stowe of East Bristol said it came from a private collection of assembled in the 1950s-60s. “We started off at £200 in the UK, then it just bounced up and up between two Hong Kong-based internet bidders.”

The winning bid at the auction on February 21 was £2500.