The Australian National Flag is a symbol of national identity and pride for Australians. It is a horizontal blue background with the Union Jack in the upper left corner, and a large white seven-pointed star known as the Commonwealth Star below it. The flag has been in use since 1901, when Australia became an independent nation.
The Union Jack represents the heritage of British colonisation and federation, while the Commonwealth Star signifies Australia's six states and one federal territory. The star also has an additional seventh point to represent any future territories or states that may join the nation.
The colours on the flag are also highly symbolic. Blue is often considered a colour of loyalty, white denotes purity and virtue, and red stands for courage.
The Australian National Flag holds an important place in the history of Australia, representing many years of national pride and identity. It is a symbol that reflects the diverse culture of the nation's people, as well as its connection to the Commonwealth. It serves to unify Australians from all walks of life and is a reminder of the values that make Australia such a great nation.
- Raise the flag briskly and lower it ceremoniously
- Do not raise the flag earlier than first light or lower the flag later than dusk
- When the flag is raised or lowered or is carried in a parade or review, everyone present should be silent and face the flag and people in uniform should salute
- The flag should always be flown freely and as close as possible to the top of the flagpole with the rope tightly secured
- The Australian National Flag should be raised first and lowered last, unless all other flags at the ceremony are raised and lowered simultaneously
- When the Australian National Flag is flown with flags of other nations, all flags should be the same size and flown on flagpoles of the same height
- The Australian National Flag should fly on the left of a person facing the flags, when it is flown with one other national flag
- Do not fly two flags from the same flagpole
- Only fly the flag at night when it is illuminated
- Do not fly the flag if it is damaged, faded or dilapidated
- When the material of a flag deteriorates it may either be placed in a permanent place of storage or should be destroyed privately and in a dignified way such as cutting it into small unrecognisable pieces, placing it in an appropriate sealed bag or closed container and then putting it in the normal rubbish collection. An outline for an optional flag retirement ceremony is provided below.
- Do not fly the flag upside down, even as a signal of distress.
- Do not allow the flag to fall or lie on the ground or be used as a cover (although it can be used to cover a coffin at a funeral)
- Information on the protocols for displaying and folding the flag can be found in the Australian flags booklet, which is also available from your Federal Member of Parliament or Senator.