why does the australian flag have 6 stars

The Australian National Flag was chosen by the Australian people in the year of federation (1901) from 32,823 entries received in a public design competition. The new Prime Minister, Edmund Barton was the master of ceremonies for the first raising of the large, blue national flag, measuring 11 x 5. 5 metres. The event was held on 3 September 1901 when the flag was hoisted above the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne. Later, 3 September was officially proclaimed as Australian National Flag Day to commemorate the day in 1901 on which the Australian flag was first flown. The Australian National Flag is a design of striking stars and crosses. This unique combination of devices has created an attractive and meaningful flag which by law, custom and tradition is Australia s chief national symbol. Our flag should be treated with dignity and respect as it represents all Australian citizens equally, whatever their background, race, colour, religion or age. Our flag is a reminder of the contributions of past and current generations to the nation and of the inheritance that will be passed to future generations.


The three crosses, St George, St Andrew and St Patrick acknowledge the principles and ideals flowing from the British heritage of European settlers; including parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. The constellation of the Southern Cross indicates our geographical location in the southern hemisphere. This constellation of stars relates to the various indigenous legends and reminds us of our rich and precious Aboriginal and Torres Strait heritage. The large seven pointed star is the emblem of Australian Federation. Six points represent the states and the seventh all the federal territories which together constitute the nation, the Commonwealth of Australia.
[ ] [ Thanks to Cyndy for sending in this information! In 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Until this time, Australia used Britain's flag, the Union Jack. A competition was held to find the design for Australia's own flag. Five designers shared the prize because they came up with similar ideas for the Australian flag.


In the top left hand corner is the Union Jack. This shows that Australia is part of the British Commonwealth. Beneath the Union Jack is a large white star with seven points. The points represent the six states and the territories. Originally this star had six points. The seventh point, for the territories was added in 1908. On the right hand side are the stars of the Southern Cross. The southern Cross was chosen because it can always be seen in the Australian sky at night. The Aboriginal Flag was designed by Harold Thomas, an artist and an Aboriginal, in 1971. The flag was designed to be an eye-catching rallying symbol for the Aboriginal people and a symbol of their race and identity. The black represents the Aboriginal people, the red the earth and their spiritual relationship to the land, and the yellow the sun, the giver of life. In the late 1960s, Aborigines stepped up their campaign for indigenous land rights through protest marches, demonstrations, banners and posters.


The protests increased in the early 1970s and Harold Thomas noticed they were often outnumbered by non-Aborigines with their own banners and placards. He decided they needed to be more visible and the idea of the flag was born. The Aboriginal flag was first raised in Victoria Square in Adelaide on National Aboriginal Day in 1971, but was adopted nationally by Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in 1972 after it was flown above the Aboriginal Tent Embassy outside of the old Parliament House in Canberra. The Aboriginal flag is increasingly being flown by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. In view of its increasing importance in Australian society, the Government initiated steps in 1994 to give the flag legal recognition. After a period of public consultation, the Government made its own decision in July 1995 that the flag should be proclaimed a Flag of Australia under section 5 of the Flags Act 1953. The flag was so proclaimed by the Governor General of Australia, William Hayden, on 14 July 1995.

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