FLAG QUIZ  - Test your knowledge about our flag!

(For answers, see below)

You may recall that Australia ’s flag is the only one to fly over an entire continent, but how much else do you know about our chief national symbol? See how you score!

Question (1)  

Following federation in 1901 the new Commonwealth Government held an open competition calling for public input into the design of a flag - the first time in history that a national flag had been chosen in this way.

where were the entries displayed for judging, thus becoming the first place that the Australian flag was flown?

a. Parliament House, Canberra

b. The Sydney Opera House

c. The Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

d. 'The Lodge' (Residence of the Prime Minister)

Question (2)  

The opportunity to design a new flag for the new nation of Australia really captured the public imagination.  In proportion with Australia ’s population now, how many entries would be needed to replicate the 1901 response?

a.   50,000

b.   2,000

c. 200,000

d.  20,000

Question (3)  

The designs submitted featured “every kind of flora and fauna identifiable with Australia – sometimes all at once”.  Which of the following were notincluded on the would-be flags entered in the competition? 

a. A kangaroo leaping through the constellation of the Southern Cross

b. Native animals playing cricket with a winged cricket ball

c. A platypus with six babies representing the six Australian states

d. A fat kangaroo aiming a gun at the Southern Cross

Question (4)  

Five people tied for the honour of designing our flag.  Match the description with the name of the winner below – 

a. Ivor Evans

b. Annie Dorrington

c. Leslie Hawkins

d. Egbert Nuttall

e. William Stevens

i.   First Officer with Union Steamship Company of NZ

ii.  Teenage optician’s apprentice from Leichhardt in NSW

iii. 14 year old schoolboy from Melbourne

iv. Well-known artist from Perth

v.  Architect with the Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works

Question (5)  

The Southern Cross featured on the flag is a constellation that can only be seen in the night skies of the Southern hemisphere, and it also gives acknowledgement to aboriginal Australians because it is so prominent in their mythology.   What is the name given to each of the stars in the Southern Cross? 

Question (6)  

Which famous Australian wrote the words:

“And with Australia ’s flag shall fly

A spray of wattle bough

To symbolise our unity –

We’re all Australians now”  

a.  Dorothea Mackellar

b.  Sir Robert Menzies

c.   “Banjo”  Paterson

d.   Rupert McCall




c.  None of the other places existed in 1901!  It took eight weeks to display all the entries and following judging the winning design was flown from the Royal Exhibition Building on 3 September 1901.


c.  There were 32,823 entries from an estimated population in 1901 of around 3.6 million …ie one per cent of the total population responded to the competition.  This is equivalent to 200,000 entries today.




(a) = (iii), (b) = (iv), (c) =  (ii), (d) = (v), (e) = (i)


The formal name of the Southern Cross is “Crux Australis” and the individual stars are named by the first five letters of the Greek alphabet in order of brightness – (clockwise from the bottom star) Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta & Epsilon. 


c.  A.B. “Banjo” Paterson , during World War I.



Few Australians know the unique and proud story of our flag –the only national flag to fly over an entire continent, but also the first to be chosen in an open public competition. Following federation in 1901, the new Commonwealth government arranged a competition to choose a flag for the new nation, and entries were submitted from nearly 1% of the population at that time. Five people tied for the honour of designing the Australian flag - Annie Dorrington, Ivor Evans, Leslie Hawkins, Egbert Nuttall, and William Stevens.  The winning design was unveiled on 3 September, which has been officially proclaimed as Australian National Flag Day. 


We’re all proud of our country and we can fly our flag to show it!