Birth of the Flag – 1901


The Australian National Flag was born on September 3rd, 1901. This followed the Federation of Australia on January 1st, 1901, which was the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia.

The original flag was slightly different to its present day form (which started in 1908), in that each star on the original flag had a unique number of points.

In 1901, the Commonwealth Government initiated a public competition to design the Australian National Flag. The flag was selected from 32,823 entries.

On September 3rd 1901, the Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton was the master of ceremonies for the first raising of the large, blue national flag, measuring 11 x 5.5 metres over the first Parliament House in Melbourne.

In 1996, the Governor-General, Sir William Deane formally proclaimed 3 September as Australian National Flag Day.

Flag since 1908

ANF - ANF small accurate image flat good colour

By 1903, the stars of the Southern Cross were standardised, with the 4 large stars each 7 points and the smaller star remaining at 5 points.

In 1908, the Commonwealth star was changed from 6 to 7 points, with 6 points representing the states, and the 7th point representing all territories.