Australia Flag

Flag History

When Australia became an independent nation in 1901 it needed a flag to identify itself to the world. A competition to design a national flag was won by five strikingly similar designs. Apart from a minor change in 1908, the flag has remained unchanged since then.

The flag first flew from the Exhibition Building in Melbourne on 3 September 1901. This date has been set aside as Australian National Flag Day.

The flag has accompanied Australians to the ends of the earth - it has been with them to war and on missions of peace; it is often seen on sporting fields of the world and on the roof of the world, and currently flies in Antarctica and in East Timor.

Flag Date of Adoption

20 February 1903 - Flag approval announced by King Edward VII

Flag Symbolism

The flag is blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and a large seven-pointed star in the lower hoist-side quadrant known as the Commonwealth Star, representing the federation of the colonies of Australia in 1901; the star depicts one point for each of the six original states and one representing all of Australia's internal and external territories; the remaining half is a representation of the Southern Cross constellation in white with one small five-pointed star and four larger, seven-pointed stars.

The Australian Flag comprises three distinct parts: the Southern Cross, the Commonwealth Star, and the Union Jack. The background of the flag is blue. On the right-hand side are the five white stars that make up the Southern Cross constellation as seen in the skies of the Southern Hemisphere. Four of the stars have seven points, and one has five.

The large white star in the bottom left-hand corner has seven points, one for each of the six states and one for the territories. This symbolic star is called the Commonwealth Star.

In the upper left-hand corner is the Union Jack, Great Britain's flag. Australia has kept the Union Jack in its flag as a reminder of where many of the early settlers came from and because Australia is a member of the British Commonwealth.

Australia National Anthem

Listen to National Anthem
Anthem History In 1974 the Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted a national opinion poll of 60,000 and in 1977 a plebiscite for a national song was conducted. On each occasion, Advance Australia Fair was the preferred option, and it was in consideration of such support that the Advance Australia Fair was proclaimed as the national anthem by the Governor-General on 19 April 1984. It is usually the first and third verses that are sung.
Anthem Lyrics (Note:  Current anthem only uses 1st & 3rd verses when being sung.)

  1. 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!”

  2. When gallant Cook from Albion sail’d,

    To trace wide oceans o’er,

    True British courage bore him on,

    Till he landed on our shore.

    Then here he raised Old England’s flag,

    The standard of the brave;

    With all her faults we love her still,

    “Britannia rules the wave!”

    In joyful strains then let us sing,

    “Advance Australia fair!”

  3. 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!”

  1. While other nations of the globe

    Behold us from afar,

    We’ll rise to high renown and shine

    Like our glorious southern star;

    From England, Scotia, Erin’s Isle,

    Who come our lot to share,

    Let all combine with heart and hand

    to Advance Australia fair!

    In joyful strains then let us sing,

    “Advance Australia fair!”

  2. Should foreign foe

    e’er sight our coast,

    Or dare a foot to land,

    We’ll rouse to arms like sires of yore

    To guard our native strand;

    Britannia then shall surely know,

    Beyond wide oceans roll,

    Her sons in fair Australia’s land

    Still keep a British soul.

    In joyful strains then let us sing,

    “Advance Australia fair!”

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