World Facts

What Do The Colors And Symbols Of The Australian Flag Mean?

The flag of Australia is represented by three main components, the Commonwealth Star, the Union Flag, and the Southern Cross.

Australia's flag features three primary components namely the Commonwealth Star, the Southern Cross, and the Union Flag. Entries were invited to compete in the flag design of the country. A design was passed in 1903 by King Edward VII, and its dimensions were officially gazetted in 1934. The Flags Act of 1953 gave the flag the official status of "Australian National Flag." Australia also has several other official flags.

Commonwealth Star Of The Australian Flag

The Commonwealth Star also is known as the Federation Star, Star of Federation, or the Seven Point Star. The emblem represents the Australia's Federation which was ushered in on January 1, 1901. The six initial states of the Commonwealth of Australia are represented by six points. The seventh point denotes the territories as well as any other state which will be proclaimed in Australia. The initial star had six points, but the 1905 proclamation of the Territory of Papua prompted the inclusion of a seventh point in 1909. The Commonwealth Star is one of the components which make Australia's flag distinguishable from similar flags such as that of New Zealand.

Union Flag

The Union Flag rests in the first quarter (upper hoist quadrant) of Australia’s flag. The component is made up of intersecting white and red stripes. The flag was initially used by the UK when it had three heraldic crosses denoting the three constituent countries making up the UK. The flag is regarded as representing the history of Australia as six British colonies and also the fundamentals on which the Federation of Australia is based. The flag is also a symbol of loyalty to the British Empire. There have been calls to ditch the Union Flag from the country’s flag.

Southern Cross Of The Australian Flag

The Southern Cross is among the most notable constellations sighted in the Southern hemisphere. The component has represented Australia since the periods of British occupation. One of the flag's designers named Ivor Evans incorporated the cross to denote the four virtues attributed to the four primary stars by Dante: fortitude, justice, temperance, and prudence. The original winning design had the stars of the Southern Cross featuring five to nine points each. The four outer stars were standardized to have seven points each while the central star was left with five points to make manufacture easier.

Colors Of The Australian Flag

Australia’s flag is designed in blue, white, and red and not in its national colors which are gold and green. The blue ensign was borrowed from the British. The stars are in white while the Union Flag features the blue, white, and red colors.

Australian Flag Debate

There exists a continuing debate whether Australia should keep or replace its flag. The team arguing for a replacement has suggested that the current flag fails to represent the country's status as a multicultural and independent nation. The group further claims that Australia's flag stands similar to those of other territories such as Tuvalu and New Zealand and it is therefore not readily distinguished. The lobby group Ausflag is at the forefront agitating for a change of flags, and it often arranges flag competitions and holds campaigns especially during national events. Another lobby group known as the Australian National Flag Association holds campaigns in support of the current flag.

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