A Cornish company has gotten the Bat-Signal and as a result there is a bit of Cornwall in the new box office hit The Batman. It’s a case of “Goldsithney to Gotham” for Sailflags, which is based in the village near Penzance.
The company, which specializes in flag banners, was approached by the production company behind the new film, which stars Robert Pattinson as the latest Batman. The filmmaking process was so quiet that Sailflags founder Peter Williams and the rest of his team had to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA).
The result of their work – banners depicting the Gotham City skyline – can be seen in the film’s final scene, which was shot at London’s O2 Arena. This is certainly not Sailflags’ first contact with bigtime.
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Peter Williams was working in Japan as an English teacher in 1998 when he first encountered banners being used in shopping districts. He decided to bring the idea back to the UK and set up a family business in West Cornwall, where he was raised.
He said: “These flags were everywhere. It was not uncommon to walk down an entire street ablaze with color. It was an incredible display, cleverly incorporated with branded marketing messages and logos.”
Peter was convinced that they would do exceptionally well in the exhibition and retail business in Britain and he was right. The company, which has eight employees, has gone from strength to strength, expanding from making banners for consumer brands to television and film.
Their work has appeared in everything from Midsummer Murders to The Jeremy Kyle Show (but don’t blame them), GMTV and Lorraine, the World Cup in Brazil, CBeebies to A Question of Sport and Emmerdale to EastEnders, for which they have done Walford Marathon banners. “It’s always cool to see them on TV,” said the company’s Russell Aherne. “You are trying to grab your phone to get a screenshot.”
The largest flag they have made was a 150ft banner for sea cadets to attach to the side of a ship, and they are currently making a series of banners for a yacht company based in Monaco. Banners are made from 100% recycled polyester.
Sailflags is big on its green credentials – it currently has solar panels installed on its roof and is aiming to halve its carbon footprint. In 2019, the company achieved plastic-free status and is undertaking a series of rewilding projects. Batman would be proud of them.