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Flags, Badges & Memorabilia

Site of the former Rhodesian/Zimbabwe/Federal Customs & Excise Departments

Submitted by exCUSTOMSnet members.  Further contributions are welcome and may be emailed to the Webmaster

A history of the various flags from the British South Africa Company days through to Zimbabwe can be seen at the Rhodesians Worldwide website.

The image you see at the top left of every webpage in this site is the Zimbabwe Customs Tie with the Gazetted emblem created by Bob Marshall.  The image was submitted for the website by John (Aussie) Austin.

The Federal Crest.  Thanks to Doug McLennan for responding to the request on the Home page (March 2011)

rhodesia and nyasaland federal crest
Rhodesian Customs epaulette submitted by Andre Guernier September 2008.Rhodesia Customs epaulette

Federal ID card signed by CHV Cooke (Inside & outside)federal id card signed by chv cookefederal customs id card signed by chv cooke - Thanks to Jock Allen

From Aussie Austin, October 2006british south afriuca co paper weight


A brass hand clutching a scroll secured through a brass washer onto a cast iron plinth measuring 64mm x 115mm x 15mm (approximately). The brass washer has stamped on it "B.S.A.Co.". The British South Africa Company's mandate was from 1890 - 1923. So I guess that would date this little piece of memorabilia at somewhere around 1900 I would think. These little babies go back to the days before extensive use of box files - when auditable records were collected into bundles of 500x I think, pig-stickered in the corner, and bound with string. Ex-railway clerks working in the department as supernumeries were good at "bundling" documents in this way as their system of record storage also included pig-sticking and string. The plinth was originally painted black & chipped, so I stripped it to bare metal and polished it. I am hoping to get a Covent Garden Jeweller friend in London to have the base finely polished, engraved with appropriate historical data, and then black gun-metal anodised. I am also considering having the brass parts cleaned and then gold plated. I would welcome any advice.

See Update below:

From Aussie Austin, September 2007

B.S.A.Co. – Office Paperweight.restored bsaco paper weight


I have taken advice from various folk, including a retired Anglo American executive, and others….. and it seems that to modify this piece of 100+ year old memorabilia (as described in my earlier entry for it) would not really be antiquatarially helpful in 1000 years time or so. I agree – and so I have restored it to as close as how it was when it came into my possession. Please see the latest picture showing the base in black.


There are only two historical issues missing concerning my acquisition of this item and which now might be useful (even appropriate) to reveal. These are as follows:-


  1. G H Hitching – was the name written on the underside lino backing when it first came into my possession – I have now replaced that lino backing in the rehabilitation process of this historical item. George Harry Hitching (Titch – to Head Office wallahs) died in Capetown some years back, I believe. I regard this BSACo paperweight as a memorial to “Titch”.  Tjeeerrrs Titch.


  1. O C Blignaut - I came about this item whilst in HO with, inter alia, Ocky Blignaut. I was in Technical Branch (Tariff) – whilst Ocky was in Admin Branch (Audit)….. where Titch also worked as a supernumery.  Anyway, one day I visited Ocky in Audit and noticed he had “acquired” two of these paperweights and which he regarded as his own personal property. Having established that they were no longer recorded on the Movable Assets Register, I  told Ocky that I required one of them for my own use in the Technical Branch. He told me that BOTH of them were his. I said that I would correct the situation; and subsequently I did just that….. (and it pissed him off).  I record this incident to the memory of the late Ockert Cornelius Blignaut. Tjeeeeerrrs, Ocky.
Sikes Hydrometer submitted by Derek Brent October 2006 - note the Customs & Excise seal (see Sikes tables below)

sikes hydrometer rhodesia customs

Tables for Sikes Hyrdometer (Page 1) - submitted by Derek Brent October 2006 sikes hydrometer tables page 1

Tables for Sikes Hydrometer cont. - submitted by Derek Brent October 2006sikes hydrometer tables

Customs Blues submitted by                        Paddy Dinneen farewell letter to Derek Brent - submitted by Derek September 2006
Derek Brent September 2006
                                                                         rhodesia rhodesian customs blues
       dinneen letter to derek brent
the grand old timerFrom Derek Brent, September 2006 These pictures portray what I have named, "THE GRAND OLD TIMER" that used to hang in the State Warehouse, Salisbury, in a broken/non-working condition.  In 1968 "Tango" Barnes was the Collector, Salisbury Port and I approached him with a view to purchasing the old broken clock hanging in the statethe grand old timer face warehouse. He informed me that it was on the movable asset register and that Head Office approval would be required. He duly made the necessary phone call and it was agreed that the clock could be written off the asset register but I would have to pay ten shillings for it. As a matter of interest, Tango advised me that the clock had been part of the "warehouse furniture" for as long as he had been in Customs! Once in my possession, minor restoration included the making of a pendulum arm from plywood, gluing the broken wooden doorframe and glazing it, washing and oiling the mechanism and, finally, Doug Jolliffe kindly obtained a bezel for me from his Grandfather's collection of clock parts. Ada's late father told me that he remembered Frank Biller from around the 1930's. For the 38 years that it has been in my custody, the "Old Timer" still continues to tick the time away!!

Plaque made & submitted by Derek Brent August 2006

rhodesia customs plaque                           Federal Cap Badge submitted by John Glynn November 2007

                rhodesia and nyasaland customs cap badge

Customs Mug (Artwork by John "Spenney" Spencer                                                                Rhodesian Customs Cap Badge

                                                       rhodesia customs cap badgerhodesia customs mug

  Rhodesian Customs Uniform Button                                                                                                             Federal Customs Uniform Button
  rhodesia customs uniform button                    federal customs uniform button

 This is  a BSA Company  Customs Officer Badge and is,                           This is a specimen Federal Customs blazer badge that Bob 
I suspect, the only one of its kind left - Submited by Brian                              Poore had designed and is also, I'm sure, probably unique.
Llewellynbsa company customs badge                                                                                                               Submitted by Brian LLewellyn
                                                                       speciment federal customs blazer badge

Petrol Coupons - sure to stir some memories -                                     Federal Customs sealing Tape - Submitted by Aussie Austin.
submitted by Aussie Austin                                                 federal customs sealing tape
rhodesia petrol coupons