Treasury tag

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Three short treasury tags, previously known as India tags.

A treasury tag or India tag is an item of stationery used to fasten sheets of paper together or to a folder.

In His Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO), a treasury tag was a lace with a sharp metal tag at one end which could be threaded through the holes in a stack of documents or cards and then inserted into a female tag at the other end to form a loop, so binding the documents. The tags in that case were in line with the string, like a shoelace. An India tag was similar but the metal tags were orthogonal to the string, so forming a cross-piece. The India tag did not form a loop as the cross-pieces were sufficiently wide that they did not slip back through the holes.[1]

In current British usage, treasury tag refers to a tag with orthogonal cross-pieces, previously known as an India tag.[2] The cross-pieces may be of metal or of plastic, and the string may be elasticated.[3][4]

Treasury or India tags are threaded through holes in paper or card made with a hole punch or lawyer's bodkin. Strings of various lengths are used to fasten stacks of paper of corresponding thickness and these are sometimes colour-coded by size.[5]

Winston Churchill used treasury tags to hold the notes for his speeches together. He called the punch for making holes a "clop", after the sound that it made.[6] The Duchess of Windsor used India tags for her speeches.[7]


  1. ^ List of Articles Authorised to be Supplied by H.M.S.O., 1912 
  2. ^ "Handling documents". The National Archive. Retrieved 26 August 2011.  Text states "Files consist of loose sheets held together in one corner by a treasury tag.", image clearly shows orthogonal cross-pieces.
  3. ^ "Treasury tags". InkAndStuff. Retrieved 26 August 2011.  Office supplier's catalogue showing metal and plastic cross-pieces
  4. ^ "Elasticated treasury tags". Viking. Retrieved 26 August 2011.  Office supplier's catalogue showing elasticated tags
  5. ^ John Bowden (2004), Writing a report, p. 117 
  6. ^ Randolph Spencer Churchill, Martin Gilbert (1966), Winston S. Churchill 8, Heinemann 
  7. ^ Wallis Warfield Windsor (1956), The heart has its reasons