Crowned “the golden girl of Heal’s Fabrics,” Barbara Brown (b. 1932) designed her abstract, geometric patterns for the firm throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. Ensign, with its parabolic curves, circles, and chevrons, reveals the importance of mathematics and technology for Brown. The title, a reference to British Royal naval flags, links Britain’s military and maritime history with Brown’s futuristic, forward-looking designs, which were among the most recognizable in England during the postwar period.
Two panels in other color ways are preserved at the Victoria & Albert Museum (CIRC.270-1967; T.470-1998)