About Aussie Flags
Here we have the Australian flag. Hopefully you all know this one already. It features:
- The Union Jack
- The Commonwealth Star: a seven pointed star
- The Southern Cross
Don’t confuse the Australian flag with the New Zealand Flag. Notice the red Southern Cross and no seven pointed star under the Union Jack. Remember that. It’s Important.
The Union Jack
The famous flag of the United Kingdom – made up of the St Andrews cross (white diagonal cross, blue background), the St George cross (red cross, white background ) and St Patrick as a red saltire (red diagonal cross, white background). So there you have three saints commemorated already. Plus devotion to the Holy Cross of Jesus.
The State flags all include the Union Jack, but the two territories do not include the Union Jack.
Australian Capital Territory:
The Southern Cross plus the ACT coat of arms featuring two swans, one white and one black.
The coat of arms is full of symbolism of symbolic symbols used in our system of government.
The Southern Cross again with a Sturt’s Desert Rose – which happens to be the floral emblem of the Northern Territory.
Charles Sturt also named Sturt’s Desert Pea which is the floral emblem of South Australia. He explored inland Australia. Lots of desert there.
Queensland was named after Queen Victoria so that explains the crown on this flag.
The light blue maltese cross is shiny and bright, especially being on a white circle – that helps me to link it with Queensland, the bright shiny theme-park capital of Australia. Incidentally, Brisbane, the capital of Queensland is nicknamed Brisvegas for the casinos and generally party atmosphere there.
In heraldic terms the Queensland badge is “On a Roundel Argent a Maltese Cross Azure surmounted with a Royal Crown”.
The other state named in honour of Queen Victoria is … Victoria!
This state was founded fairly sensibly by free settlers. They didn’t have much sandstone though.
Then came the Gold Rush and Victoria prospered and became all interesting with things like the Eureka Stockade. Then things settled down again.
New South Wales
A big red St George cross and a golden lion to keep the convicts under control.
The gold stars are reminiscent of the Southern Cross – back in 1870 NSW had a flag much like the Victorian flag, except with yellow stars instead of white, but everyone said that was too hard to distinguish.
Settlers went west from Victoria and set up lots of vineyards in South Australia. Somehow they keep going despite it being very dry as well as having an awful water supply.
The South Australian flag has a Piping Shrike in the middle of a yellow disc.The Piping Shrike is more commonly known as the White Backed Magpie. Southern Australia has white backed magpies and the rest has proper black backed magpies.
Western Australia is famous for its Black Swans – even though there are black swans all over Australia.
Walter Murdoch wrote:
Hail to Westralia!
Hail to its bigness!
Hail to its motto
Of course you instantly recognise that cygnis insignis means “distinguished for swans”.
Perth is built on the Swan River – it’s all swans all over the place there.
Last but not least there is the island state of Tasmania. This state is famous for Tasmanian Tigers and Tasmanian Devils.
It’s also one of the early settlements – famous for the gaol at Port Arthur – a peninsula all but cut off from the mainland save for a narrow neck of land. The cliffs were steep so made it nigh impossible for prisoners to escape.
But Tasmania is quite beautiful.
There you have all the state and territory flags – hope that makes them a little easier to remember.