Australian National Flag Day

Thursday 3 September 2020 is Australian National Flag Day, which commemorates the day the Australian National Flag was first flown in 1901 at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne.

Following federation, the new Commonwealth Government held a competition calling for public input into the design of a national flag.

Over 32,800 entries were received, with five nearly identical entries being awarded as equal first. Those five individuals included an artist, an architect, an apprentice, a first officer and a 14 year-old school boy from Melbourne.

The new flag for the Commonwealth of Australia was revealed by Australia’s first Prime Minister Edmund Barton 119 years ago.

The Australian National Flag features 3 important symbols:

  • The Union Jack, representing the history of British settlement
  • The Commonwealth Star, of which each of its 7 points represent the unity of the states and territories of the Commonwealth of Australia
  • The Southern Cross, which is a reminder of our geography

Merchant Navy Day is also commemorated on 3 September, honouring the service and sacrifice of our merchant mariners and remembering the vital contribution made by those who served in the Australian and allied merchant navies.

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