Very few people know the unique and proud story of the Australian Flag. The Flag engulfs the pragmatic Australian culture and its remarkable history. Besides being the only National Flag to fly over the entire continent, there is a lot to know about the Australian Flag and its unique chronology. Here are some interesting facts about the Australian Flag worth knowing:
1. From British to Australian Flag!
Australia hoisted the British flag Union Jack until its independence in 1901. The first national flag of independent Australia was hoisted on 3 September 1901 at the Royal Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne.
Source: gostudy.com, Image: slidesharecdn.com
2. A Flag of the People, For the People & By the People!
The Australian Flag is considered the first and the only flag to be chosen in an open public competition.
3. A tedious job!
The competition was conducted by Melbourne Herald and the Review of Reviews with prize money of £200, which was a yearly salary of an average worker at that time. It received an enthralling response with nearly 33,000 entries. Arranging all the entries actually took 8 weeks and the competition was judged in 6 days!
Source: study.com, Image: britam.org
4. And…the credit goes to…
Out of all entries, 5 unique and prominent ones were selected as winners. One of them was a Victorian schoolboy.
5. Flying Guidelines!
Guidelines for flying the Australian Flag are laid down in the 1953 Flags Act. The guidelines say that it should be treated with dignity and respect and as the nation’s most important National Symbol. According to the guidelines, while in the Australian territory, it should be flown in a superior position to other flags. The flag must be flown on all government buildings in Australia and should always be flown aloft and free.
6. Decode the Australian Flag!
The design of Australian flag is a compilation of three different things:
- Union Jack which illustrates the link of Australia with the British
- Southern Cross Constellation (5 stars) which is commonly seen over southern hemisphere and clearly seen visible at night sky
- Seven pointed Commonwealth Star: it is also known as Star of Federation which symbolizes the original states of Australia.
Source: anbg.gov.au, Image: imgur.com
7. Status of the National Flag
The proclamation of the Australian Flag as a National Flag was made under The Flags Act of 1953.
8. Similar Flags!
The national flag of New Zealand has an uncanny resemblance with the Australian National Flag. Similarities might reflect common British colonial history or previous relationships with Australia.
Source: csu.edu.au, Image: differencebtw.com
9. Other “Australian” Flags!
Besides the Australian National Flag, there are other official flags like the Australian Aboriginal Flag, the Torres Strait Islander Flag, the Australian Red Ensign, the Royal Australian Air Force Ensign (RAAF) and the Australian White Ensign for the Royal Australian Navy.
Source: flagsaustralia.com.au, Image: assets.atlasobscura.com
10. State and Territory Flags!
Each State of the Australian continent has its own official State Flag. Also, what sets the Australian territories’ flags apart from its National flag is their free design and deviation from the Blue Ensign.
Source: anbg.gov.au, Image: australiaday.org.au
11. Decoding the Stars!
Australian National Flag has six stars, which represent six States of the country. It also corresponds to the constellation. All the stars are seven-pointed apart from one little star that has five points. The largest star represents the Commonwealth star.
Source: slideshare.net, Image: pinimg.com
12. The Starry Addition!
Originally all the stars on the flag had six points. The seventh point was added later for the new territories added in 1908.
13. Blue Vs Red!
Initially, the Blue Ensign was entitled only for government purposes and the Red Ensign for commercial use. It was only during the Menzies Government in 1953 that the Red Ensign disappeared from the picture.
Source: ausflag.com.au, Image: australiaday.org.au
14. The only Continental Flag!
Not to forget that the Australian national flag is not only the one chosen through an open public competition but also the only national flag to fly over an entire continent.
15. Devoid of National Color!
Australian National Flag stands peculiarly in the feature that the national color, that is vibrant green and gold, are nowhere to be spotted in the flag.
Source: gostudy.com.au, Image: sqspcdn.com
16. A Tribute to World War I Soldiers!
To pay tribute to Australian casualties incurred in liberating their villages in 1917, the Australian National Flag is raised every morning at the school in Villers-Bretonneux in France.
Source: ipa.org.au, Image: battlefieldguiding.com