Historical Concepts

29 April 1901

Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No. 27 Design competition for The Flag of Australia announced by the first Australian Prime Minister, Edmund Barton.

3 September 1901

First official raising of the blue Australian Flag at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne.

20 February 1903
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No. 8 Proclamation that King Edward VII had approved design for the Flag of Australia.

19 December 1908
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No. 65 (page 1709) announced addition of 7th point to the Commonwealth Star to represent Australian Territories.

23 March 1934
Commonwealth Gazette No.18 gives descriptions and specifications of the Australian Blue Ensign and the red merchant flag of Australia.

2 December 1953
Commonwealth Government 'Flags Act 1953' (Hansard reports, 20/11/1953 and 2/12/1953) the status of The Flag confirmed by legislation and title to be the Australian National Flag.

3 September 1996
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No. S321 Proclamation of Australian National Flag Day - (Anniversary of our Flag). Commemorating the day in 1901 on which the Australian National Flag was first flown. Please click here to view the proclamation.

24 March 1998
Flag Amendments Bill amended the Flags Act 1953 to ensure that the Australian National Flag can only be changed if the electorate approves.

20 September 2001
Commonwealth Gazette No. S382 (Special) Proclamation of the Centenary Flag Warrant. The Centenary Flag is the flag presented on 3 September 2001 to the Prime Minister by the Australian National Flag Association, being an Australian National Flag suitably inscribed with flag centenary message. Please click here to view the warrant.

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The Centenary Flag


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!