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The Australian flag flew for the first time in Melbourne on 3 September 1901, following a design competition that drew 32,823 entries.


Australian National Flag

The Australian National Flag features the five stars of the constellation of the Southern Cross and the Commonwealth Star, and the combined crosses of St George, St Andrew and St Patrick. The union of crosses represents Australia's early settlers. The Commonwealth Star with its seven points represents the unity of the six Australian states and the seventh point stands for all Australian Territories.
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Australian State Flags

Each of the six states of Australia has its own flag consisting of the Blue Ensign with the Union Jack in the upper hoist quarter, the fly half defaced with the badge or heraldic device of the state concerned:

NSW Official Flag New South Wales - Golden Lion passant (right to left) on a red St George's Cross on a silver background (usually depicted white), with an 8-pointed star on each extremity of the cross.
Victoria Official Flag Victoria - White Southern Cross (one star of 8 points, 2 of 7 points one of 6 points and one of 5 points), beneath an Imperial Crown, on a blue background (originally without a crown, which was added in 1877).
Queensland Official Flag Queensland - light blue Maltese Cross with an Imperial Crown at its Centre, on a white background.
South Australia Official Flag South Australia - the White-Backed Magpie (or Piping Shrike), erect, wings outstretched, on a yellow background.
Western Australian Official Flag Western Australia - Black Swan swimming, right to left, on a yellow background (prior to 1953, the swan was swimming left to right, as on the Commonwealth Arms).
Tasmania Official Flag Tasmania - Red Lion passant (right to left) on a white background.
The shields or badges of each of the Australian States are combined in the Australian Commonwealth Arms.
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Australian Territory Flags

Some of the Australian Territories also have their own flags:
Northern Territory Official Flag Northern Territory - the hoist third a white Southern Cross on a black background (5 stars, one eight-point, two 7-point, one 6-point, one 5-point), the fly two-thirds an ochre background with a large central stylized desert rose with a black centre and seven white petals (apparently an aspiration for seven rather than six Australian states) - adopted in 1978.
Australian Capital Territory Official Flag Australian Capital Territory - the hoist third a white Southern Cross on a blue background, the fly two thirds with the blue coat of arms of the Australian Capital Territory (shield with castle, beneath which is a rose and above crossed mace and sword, supporters a black swan and a white swan) on a yellow background.
Norfolk Island Official Flag Norfolk Island - two broad vertical stripes of green on the hoist and fly with central vertical white stipe with a silhouette of a Norfolk Island Pine in the same green as the end stripes - adopted in 1980.
Christmas Island Unofficial Flag Christmas Island - a diagonally divided flag with a central yellow circle enclosing a white map of the island, lower hoist a white Southern Cross (five stars, four 7-point, one five point) on a blue background, upper fly a yellow frigate bird flying hoist to fly on a green background - an unofficial flag. The official flag is the Australian national flag.
The remaining territories fly the Australian National Flag.
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Other official flags

Aboriginal Flag Official The Aboriginal Flag - recognised under federal legislation in 1971 it was first displayed in Victoria Square, Adelaide on National Aboriginal Day 12 June 1971. Yellow represents the sun (giver of life) and yellow ochre. Red represents the red earth (the relationship to the land) and the red ochre used in ceremonies. Black represents the Aboriginal people. Designed by Indigenous Elder Harold Thomas in 1971.
Torres Straight Islander Flag Official The Torres Straight Islander Flag - Green represents the islands, blue the sea and black the local Melanesian people. A stylised dancer's head-dress known as a DARI and a five pointed star appear on the flag. The star alludes to the five main island zones. Designed by Islander Mr Bernard Namok, was adopted in 1992.
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