Australian National Flag Rights and Significance

Every Australian Citizen has the right and privilege of flying or displaying the Australian National Flag, our flag of “STARS AND CROSSES”, with dignity and respect in accord with the rules of flag etiquette and protocol.

The Australian National Flag is Australia’s chief national symbol by law, custom and tradition, belonging equally to all Australian citizens. Usage of our flag is shared with Government though, unlike the National Coat of Arms, the Australian National Flag is owned by the people exclusively, under law, through the Commonwealth Flags Act.

The Australian National Flag should be treated with dignity and respect at all times as it identifies and represents our people and the Commonwealth of Australia both at home and overseas.

The Flag was chosen from 32,823 entries in a unique public competition in the Federation year, 1901 when it was first flown on 3 September over the Commonwealth Parliament, Melbourne. Australian National Flag Day is officially recognised by Proclamation of the Governor-General and is celebrated annually on 3 September.

All Australians have the right to full and accurate knowledge of the history, heritage and significance of Australia’s national flag of “Stars and Crosses”, representing the principles and ideals on which our country was founded and the inheritance of future generations.



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!