In 1922, D.H. Lawrence moved to Thirroul, just north of Wollongong in New South Wales. It was there he wrote his novel Kangaroo, which would prove a rich source of inspiration for Garry Shead. Shead made frequent visits to Thirroul following in Lawrence's footsteps and the landscape became the backdrop to his D.H. Lawrence series of pictures painted in the early 1990s. The political undertones of Lawrence's novel are more to the fore in Union Jack than in many of Shead's other works from the series. Recent research has established that Lawrence's secret army, led by Benjamin Cooley, or 'Kangaroo', may have been based on a clash in 1921 at Sydney's Domain between Diggers and socialists. Shead's picture presents an image which represents this social division, a theme which would continue to be developed in his subsequent 'Royal Suite'.