The Devonport Flagstaff masthead has two origins. The suburb was originally called Flagstaff until renamed Devonport, after the naval town in England. Flagstaff/Devonport played an important role in Auckland commerce in the early years of the city. A signalman's house was located on Mt Victoria (still there today as the Michael King Writers' Centre). When ships were approaching Devonport, the signalman would fly signal flags to alert merchants in downtown Auckland to which goods the ships were carrying. The merchants would then rush down to the waterfront to upload the goods.
Devonport has a proud history of newspapering. The first North Shore newspaper - the Waitemata Messenger - was published weekly from 1885 to 1901. The Waitemata Post was published from 1910 to 1914, when it was renamed the Waitemata News, until 1917 when it closed. The Devonport Gazette and Greater North Shore Advertiser was published around Devonport from 1921 to 1924 when it was renamed the North Shore Gazette, until 1936, when it closed. The North Shore Times began publishing in Devonport in 1949 and is still operating today.
This dissemination of news continues today, with the publication of the Devonport Flagstaff every two weeks.