The Australian Flag [letter, 29 August 1913]

[Editor: A letter from an office-bearer of the Australian Natives’ Association regarding the Australian flag. Published in The West Australian, 29 August 1913.]

The Australian Flag.

To the Editor.

Sir, — In reply to “Bunting’s” inquiry, (1) How many stars are now on the flag? Answer, six stars. (2) How many points are now on each star? Answer, seven points. (3) What is the significance of the number of stars and the number of points? The following points in connection with the Australian flag will, I think, give all the information asked for:—

The first Australian flag ever hoisted was when a blue ensign carrying on it the Southern Cross in white stars, was hoisted by Peter Lalor at the Eureka Stockade, in 1854, when many Australians laid down their lives for the principles of liberty and freedom. When the Federation came into existence, competitive designs were invited for a Federal flag. The choice fell on one which had in the left-hand top corner the Union Jack and immediately under it a six-pointed star. On the body of the flag itself there appeared the stars of the Southern Cross, the emblem first hoisted at the Eureka Stockade. The Union Jack was to stand as emblematical of our allegiance to the British Empire. The six-pointed star was emblematical of six State interests federated under one whole, and the Southern Cross was used because of its traditional association with the earlier history of Australia. When New Guinea was added to the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, it was decided to alter the ensign by adding a point to the Federal star, which was to be representative of six States, one point for each, and a further point for the Federal territory, such as New Guinea and the capital site or such other territories as may be added to the Commonwealth from time to time. The passing of the Northern Territory to Federal control makes the seventh point representative of that portion of the continent also. The blue flag is the recognised Australian flag; the red is for commercial purposes. — Yours, etc.

James H. Crabb.
General Secretary A.N.A.
Perth, Aug. 27.

The West Australian (Perth, WA), Friday 29 August 1913, page 5


  1. I have in my possession a small medallion bearing the inscription;
    AUSTr Flag COMPtn 1913 E FRENCH
    – The name is that of my Father who emigrated to Australia in 1913, fought for the AIF subsequently in Egypt and France, before returning to Australia, and then prospected for gold in New Guinea 1926-29
    I would be grateful for any information you could give me on the 1913 competition and of my Father’s participation in it. Please pass on this request to the relevant authorities. NF

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