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Flag of Australia

What Is the Flag of Australia?

Like the United States, Australia has its own official flag. It features a blue field with the Union Jack in the upper-left corner along with a large seven-pointed star in the bottom-left corner and a constellation of the five stars on the right side. Whether you live in Australia, or if you simply appreciate the beauty and culture of this Pacific country, you may want to display the flag of Australia.

The Symbolism of the Stars

When inspecting the flag of Australia, you may notice it has several stars. As previously mentioned, it features a large seven-pointed star and five smaller stars. What do these stars symbolize exactly?

The large seven-pointed star symbolizes the Commonwealth Star. Also known as the Star of Federation, it represents the Federation of Australia, the largest country in Oceania. The constellation of seven smaller stars, on the other hand, symbolizes the Southern Cross. The Southern Cross is also mentioned in Australia’s National Anthem: “Beneath our radiant Southern Cross we’ll toil with hearts and hands.”

Origins of the Flag of Australia

The current version of the flag of Australia was adopted on December 8, 1908. Previously, Australia recognized a few other designs as its official flag. The first design was adopted in 1901. Just a few years later, a modified version was adopted. But it wasn’t until 1908 when Australia adopted the current, modern version of its flag.

The original version of the flag of Australia originated from a contest. Around the turn of the 20th century, the Melbourne Herald launched a contest seeking a design for the country’s flag. After collecting roughly 33,000 entries, judges awarded five contestants as the winners. All five contestants submitted a similar design consisting of the Union Jack design and stars, so they were all declared winners.

Here are some fun facts about the flag of Australia:

  • Uses a proportion ratio of 1:2
  • It’s the only national flag to fly over an entire country
  • A red version of the flag is used for merchant ships
  • All five contests who created the flag’s design shared the prize money

About the Union Jack

In addition to stars, the flag of Australia features the Union Jack. It’s located in the top-right corner. The Union Jack, of course, is the flag of the United Kingdom. It’s known as the “Union Jack” because it unifies the countries that make up the United Kingdom.

Why does the flag of Australia feature the Union Jack? The Union Jack symbolizes the connection between Australia and Great Britain. Early British settlers landed in Australia, and many of them helped shape the Pacific country into what it is today. Therefore, the Union Jack has become an integral part of Australia’s official flag.

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