Flag of Australia - A Brief History
|Adopted||3rd September 1908 (in the current form)|
|Design||A blue field with the Union Jack in the top left hand corner with the Commonwealth star underneath and the Southern Cross in the centre left.|
|Colours||PMS – Blue: 280 C, Red: 185 C
CMYK – Blue: 100% Cyan, 80% Magenta, 0% Yellow, 0% Black; Red: 0% Cyan, 100% Magenta,
100% Yellow, 0% Black.
The National Colonial Flag of Australia was a first attempt at designing a specific Australian national flag in 1824; it featured a red St George’s cross with four eight-pointed stars and the Union Jack the top left hand corner.
A second Australian Federation Flag was designed in 1830 but never officially used and adopted by the movement to bring Australia together between 1880 and early 1890; it was very similar to the National Colonial Flag, it featured a blue cross with five eight-pointed stars. This flag is still popular on the East Coat of Australia and is still flown unofficially today.
The Australasian Anti-Transportation League used a flag very similar to the modern flag of Australia between 1849 and 1853.
In 1850 an unofficial merchant flag was designed, the Van Dieman’s Land Ensign is a blue and white stripped field with a red cross on top and Union Jack in the top left hand centre. It was used until 1875 in the colony now known as Tasmania.
The Eureka Flag was designed as a symbol of resistance for the gold miners revolt in the battle Eureka Stockdale in 1854. It is seen as a symbol of protest in the present day. It is a dark blue flag with five eight-pointed stars with a horizontal and vertical white line crossing the stars.
The first modern Australian flag was chosen from a competition in 1901 and was very similar to the Australasian Anti-Transportation League flag. It is a blue field with the union jack in the top left, the Commonwealth star in the lower left and the Southern Cross centre right.
In 1971 an official Aboriginal Flag was designed and adopted. It is a red and black horizontal bicolour with a yellow circle in its centre. The yellow circle represents the sun, giving life. The Black represents the Aboriginal people and the red is the earth and the Aboriginal’s spiritual relation to the land.
An official flag was designed in 1992 to represent the Torres Strait Islanders. The Torres Strait Islanders flag design has green-black-blue-black-green panels with a white dhari headdress in the centre with a five-pointed star in the centre.
The Coat of Arms of Australia
This version of the Coat of Arms of Australia was designed in 1912. It features an ermine bordered shield split into six sections. On the left hand side is a red kangaroo and the right an emu. Above the shield is a six-pointed star and below is a banner that reads “AUSTRALIA”.
The top left section of the shield is the cross of St George with a lion and stars representing New South Wales.
The top centre section is an imperial crown with southern cross representing Victoria.
The Top right section is a blue Maltese cross and crown representing Queensland.
The Bottom left section has an Australian piping shrike representing South Australia.
The Bottom centre section has a black swan representing Western Australia.
The Bottom right section has a red walking lion representing Tasmania.
The Coat of Arms of Australian States and Territories
Here are some examples of the individual Coat of Arms of Australian States and Territories.
The Queen’s Personal Australian Flag
The Flags of the Governors of the Australian States
The Governors of the Australian States represent the Queen and given a standard. The Governor-General also has his own flag that is used when in residence and as a car flag
New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australian Governors have a blue ensign with the Union Jack in the top left hand corner and their badge in the centre left.
Queensland has a defaced union jack and Victoria has a gold ensign with Union Jack in the top left hand corner and the stars of the Southern Cross in red.
The Military Flags of Australia
Here are some examples of the Military Flags of Australia:
The Australian Defence Force Ensign is a blue, red and light blue vertical tricolour representing the Navy, Army and Air Force with a golden Triservice badge in the centre.
The Australian Naval Ensign was adopted in 1967 and is a version of the national flag; it is a white ensign and blue Commonwealth star and Southern Cross.
The Royal Australian Air Force Ensign was adopted in 1982 and is a version of the national flag; it is a sky blue ensign with Commonwealth star, Southern Cross and RAAF roundel in the lower right.
The Australian Navy Cadets Ensign was designed in 2001 and features the Australian Naval Ensign in the top left corner and the badge of the Australian Navy Cadets centre right.
The Flags of the States and Mainland Territories of Australia
Here are some examples of the Flags of the States and Mainland Territories of Australia.
The Flag of the External Territories of Australia
Here are some examples of the Flags of the External Territories of Australia:
Officially used since 2002, The Flag of Christmas Islands has been a blue and green bicolour split diagonally with Southern Cross in the blue and Golden Bosun bird in the green. A gold disc with the shape of the island is where the two colours meet.
The Flag of the Cocos Islands was adopted in 2005; it is a green field with gold crescent at the centre. A gold disk with green palm tree is at top left and the Southern Cross in centre right.
The Flag of Norfolk Island was adopted in 1980. The flag features a green field with white centre stripe; inside the stripe is a green pine.