Australian National Flag fun facts

GovernmentAustralian National FlagAustralian National Flag Day
Wednesday, 10 August 2016
Publication author(s):
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Publication abstract:

Some interesting questions and answers about the Australian National Flag.


1. Following federation in 1901 the new Commonwealth Government held an open competition calling for public input into the design of a flag. It was the first time in history that a national flag had been chosen in this way. 

Where was the first place that the Australian National flag was flown?

a. Parliament House, Canberra

b. The Sydney Opera House

c. The Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

d. The Lodge (Residence of the Prime Minister).

2. Australian National Flag Day was proclaimed by the Governor-General in 1996 to ‘commemorate the day in 1901 on which the Australian national flag was first flown‘.

What day each year do we celebrate ‘Flag Day’?


3. The crosses of which countries may be seen in the Australian National Flag?

a. England 

b. Scotland 

c. Ireland 

d. All of the above

4. Five people tied for the honour of designing our flag, and they shared in the 200 pound prize money (which was a substantial sum in 1901, described as equivalent to the annual wage for an average worker).  

Match the name of the winning flag designer to their correct occupation:

Name of winning flag designer

Occupation of winning flag designer

Ivor Evans First Officer with Union Steamship Company of NZ
Annie Dorrington Teenage optician’s apprentice from Leichhardt, NSW
Leslie Hawkins 14 year old schoolboy from Melbourne
Egbert Nuttal well-known artist from Perth
William Stevens Architect with the Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works

5. How many points are there on the Commonwealth star, the largest star on the Australian flag?

a. 5

b. 5

c. 7

d. 8

6. Which other Government symbol features the Commonwealth star?


7. The Southern Cross featured on the flag is a constellation that can only be seen in the night skies of the Southern hemisphere. It is also significant to Indigenous Australians because it features prominently in their mythology.  

What is the formal name of the Southern Cross and each of the five stars?


8. Which of the following is not true about the Australian flag? 

a. It may be used at any Australian's funeral.      

b. The flag should never be flown upside down.     

c. The flag must not be laid on the ground or touch the ground.

d. The flag cannot be used for commercial purposes.

9. When is it appropriate to fly the Australian National Flag?


10. Why do we fly flags at half-mast?

  1. C
  2. 3 September
  3. D
  4. (a) = (iii), (b) = (iv), (c) =  (ii), (d) = (v), (e) = (i)
  5. C
  6. The Commonwealth Coat of Arms
  7. The formal name of the Southern Cross is “Crux Australis” and the individual stars are named by the first five letters of the Greek alphabet in order of brightness – (clockwise from the bottom star) Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta & Epsilon.
  8. D
  9. The Australian National Flag can be flown every day of the year and is an expression of Australian identity and pride.
  10. Flags are flown at half-mast as a sign of mourning.

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