Ultimately, our flag serves as a potent symbol of our nation. One nation, of many backgrounds, but ultimately united together by shared values and ideals and a respect for each other and the diversity that is the very essence of who we are.

- His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Ret'd)
Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.


A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR FLAG


 
Australian Flag Line Drawing

JUL
1900

 

jaN
1901

 

apr
1901

 

Feb
1903

 

DEC
1908

 

Aug
1914

 

Mar
1934

 

Dec
1953

 

Aug
1996

 

AUSTRALIA WILL BECOME A FEDERATION

After almost 40 years of discussion, debates and a referendum, it's official Australia will become a federation. The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act (UK) was passed on 5 July 1900 and given Royal Assent by Queen Victoria on the 9th July, 1900.

 

IT'S OFFICIAL, NOW WE NEED A FLAG

At a public ceremony held in Centennial Park, Sydney The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act was proclaimed on 1st January.

 

A FLAG FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE

The Commonwealth Government of Australia announces a Federal Flag design competition. The competition receives 32,823 entries with the winning design being won by five almost identical entries. Each of the 5 winners shared the £200 (almost $30,000 today) prize money.

 

 THE STAMP OF APPROVAL

King Edward VII approves the design for the official Australian flag (blue background) and the Australian Red Ensign for Australia’s merchant ships and private pleasure craft. Minor changes are made to the points of the stars on the Southern Cross.

 

THAT'S AN ORDER!

The Australian Army gives Military Order, No 58/08 to direct all military establishments (Stations) to fly the "new" Australian flag.

 

THIS MEANS WAR

The Australian flag is used for the first time in an act of war when it's flown over Queenscliff Army Fort, Victoria The fort opened fire to prevent the German steamer, Pfalz, from leaving port.

 

OFFICIAL GUIDELINES

Commonwealth Government Gazette No 18 features a line drawing of the exact specifications of the official blue Australian flag and the merchant shipping flag, the Australian Red Ensign. 

 

ACT ACCORDINGLY

Parliament passes 1953 Flags Act. The flag is confirmed by legislation as the chief national symbol by law, custom and tradition and its official title becomes the "Australian National Flag". 

The Act is officially signed-off by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the following months

 

WE HAVE OUR DAY!

The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Sir William Deane, proclaims 3 September as "Australian National Flag Day" to commemorate the day in 1901 on which the Australian National Flag was first flown.