The Australian Flag

Q. Who designed it?

A.  A competition was held for a design in 1901. Five entries, almost identical,  shared the prize. Artist Annie Whistler Dorrington was the first named of the five.

Q. When and where was it first flown?
A.  1901 in Melbourne. In 1908 a seventh point was added to the Commonwealth star to represent the territories. 

Q. What do the stars represent?
A. The five stars on the right represent the constellation of stars known as the Southern Cross and represents Australia's location in the southern hemisphere. The large, seven pointed star is the Federation or Commonwealth star. Each of the points represents one of the six States and seventh is for the present Australian Territories (Canberra, and the Northern Territory)

Read more about the history of Australian flags:

The Commonwealth Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms is the symbol of the Commonwealth of Australia, the official badge of  the Commonwealth Government. It is used by all Government departments, and is on Commonwealth Government buildings.

In 1912 the new design was approved by King George V, and is the Coat of Arms we know and use today. The shield in the centre was divided into six, each with the badge of a state. The shield and 'supporters', the kangaroo and emu, are now surrounded by golden wattle, the national floral emblem. At the bottom, the scroll simply says 'Australia'.

Read more about the Australian Coat of Arms:


Australia's National Anthem: ADVANCE AUSTRALIA FAIR

Q. Who composed it?
A. Peter Dodds McCormick (1834-1916)

Q. When did it become the national anthem?
A. 1984

Listen to the music:


Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We've golden soil and wealth for toil;
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In history's page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair. 

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We'll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.


The Aboriginal Flag

The Aboriginal peoples, the original inhabitants of the continent, have lived here continuously for over 50 000 years. 

In 1971 a flag to represent Aboriginal peoples was designed by Harold Thomas.  The Aboriginal flag is divided in two: the top half is black, symbolising Aboriginal peoples, the red half represents the red earth, the golden circle is the sun, the lifegiver.

Read about the Aboriginal flag and its creator, Harold Thomas:


Australia's Floral and Faunal Emblems

Australia's floral emblem is the golden wattle, animal emblem is the red kangaroo and bird emblem is the emu. Each of these is unique to Australia, and are represented on our Coat of Arms.

State and Territory emblems of Australia

Each Australian state and territory also has a flower, an animal and bird emblem.  Some have a marine or gemstone emblem as well.  These represent the state because they originate there, are found only there or are exceptionally noted there.

They are:

  • Australian Capital Territory: royal bluebell, no animal emblem, gang-gang cockatoo
  • New South Wales: waratah, platypus, kookaburra
  • Victoria: pink heath, Leadbeater's possum, helmeted honeyeater
  • Tasmania: bluegum, Tasmanian devil, yellow wattlebird (unofficial)
  • South Australia: Sturt desert pea, southern hairy-nosed wombat, leafy sea dragon
  • Western Australia: kangaroo paw, numbat, black swan
  • Northern Territory: desert rose, red kangaroo, wedge-tailed eagle
  • Queensland: Cooktown orchid, koala, brolga

Read  about the floral emblems of the Commonwealth of Australia and of each state and mainland territory:

Read about the state faunal emblems, animals and birds:

Read  kidcyber pages about some of the animals that are emblems: