Commonwealth Star

The Commonwealth Star (also known as the Federation Star, the Seven Point Star, or the Star of Federation) is a seven-pointed star symbolising the Federation of Australia which came into force on 1 January 1901.

Six points of the Star represent the six original states of the Commonwealth of Australia, while the seventh point represents the territories and any other future states of Australia. The original star had only six points; however, the proclamation in 1905 of the Territory of Papua led to the addition of the seventh point in 1909 to represent it and future territories.[1]

The Commonwealth Star is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Australian flag, as opposed to the similar flag of New Zealand.

Commonwealth Star
Commonwealth Star as the crest of Coat of Arms of Australia

Official name

Although the term "Federation Star" is frequently used, the term "Commonwealth Star" is the official name. This is because that was the name ascribed to the star by the Australian Government when the Australian flag was adopted and such adoption gazetted in the official Government gazette.[2]


The Commonwealth Star is found on both the flag of Australia and the Coat of Arms of Australia. On the Australian flag the Star appears in the lower hoist quarter, beneath the representation of the Union flag, and as four of the five stars making up the Southern Cross on the fly. In the Coat of Arms, the Star forms the crest, atop a blue and gold wreath.

The Star also appears on the badges of the Australian Defence Force and Australian Federal Police, although the badges of the Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force feature the St Edward's Crown, as in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms. In the event of the country becoming a republic, it has been suggested that the Commonwealth Star replace the Crown.[3]

The Star is also used on numerous Australian medals, including the National Police Service Medal, the Defence Force Service Medal, the civilian Star of Courage, the Public Service Medal, the Ambulance Service Medal and the Australian Police Medal.

With the marriage of Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark to Mary Donaldson (now the Crown Princess Mary) in 2004, Princess Mary was honoured with the Order of the Elephant. The chief field of the Crown Princess' coat of arms shows two gold Commonwealth Stars from the Coat of arms of Australia.


Coat of Arms of Australia

Australian Coat of Arms (adopted 1912)

Coat of arms of Australia (1908–1912)

1908 Coat of Arms

DFSM with Fed Star

Ribbon for Defence Force Service Medal with Federation Star (5th clasp)


  1. ^ "The Commonwealth Flag". Hobart Mercury. 24 May 1909. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  2. ^ Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, published by authority on 20 February 1908 (also reproduced in the "Review of Reviews" supplement) Archived 21 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ New Name for the Republic: 'Commonwealth of Australia' Speech by the Hon. Peter Collins, QC, MLA Archived 2007-02-23 at the Wayback Machine 27 January 1997
1901 Federal Flag Design Competition

The 1901 Federal Flag Design Competition was an Australian government initiative announced by Prime Minister Edmund Barton to find a flag for the newly federated Commonwealth of Australia. In terms of its essential elements the winning entry is the official flag of Australia.

After Federation on 1 January 1901 and following receipt of a request from the British government to design a flag to distinguish Australia, the new Commonwealth Government held an official competition for a new 'federal flag' in April. The competition attracted 32,823 entries, including those originally sent to the one held earlier by the Review of Reviews. One of these was submitted by an unnamed governor of a colony. The two contests were merged after the Review of Reviews agreed to being integrated into the government initiative. The £75 prize money of each competition were combined and augmented by a further £50 donated by Havelock Tobacco Company. Each competitor was required to submit two coloured sketches, a red ensign for the merchant service and public use, and a blue ensign for naval and official use. The designs were judged on seven criteria: loyalty to the Empire, Federation, history, heraldry, distinctiveness, utility and cost of manufacture. The majority of designs incorporated the Union Flag and the Southern Cross, but native animals were also popular, including one that depicted a variety of indigenous animals playing cricket. The entries were put on display at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne and the judges took six days to deliberate before reaching their conclusion. Five almost identical entries were chosen as the winning design, and their designers shared the £200 (2015: $29,142.12) prize money. They were Ivor Evans, a fourteen-year-old schoolboy from Melbourne; Leslie John Hawkins, a teenager apprenticed to an optician from Sydney; Egbert John Nuttall, an architect from Melbourne; Annie Dorrington, an artist from Perth; and William Stevens, a ship's officer from Auckland, New Zealand. The five winners received £40 each. The differences from the present flag were the six-pointed Commonwealth Star, while the components stars in the Southern Cross had different numbers of points, with more if the real star was brighter. This led to five stars of nine, eight, seven, six and five points respectively.A simplified version of the competition-winning design was submitted to the British admiralty for entry into their register of flags in December 1901. Prime Minister Edmund Barton announced in the Commonwealth Gazette that Edward VII had officially recognised the design as the Flag of Australia on 11 February 1903. This version made all the stars in the Southern Cross seven-pointed apart from the smallest, and is the same as the existing flag except the six-pointed Commonwealth Star.To commemorate the announcement of the winning contestants in Federal Flag Design Competition and the day the Australian flag was first flown 3 September has been proclaimed as Australian National Flag Day.

Australian Border Force Flag

The Australian Border Force Flag is the flag flown by Australian Border Force vessels and sometimes on ABF buildings. Any vessel acting in a customs capacity must fly this flag. The current version is an Australian National Flag with the words "AUSTRALIAN BORDER FORCE" added in bold between the Commonwealth Star and the lower part of the Southern Cross. This flag was adopted by regulations coming into force on 1 July 2015.

Australian Defence Force Ensign

The Australian Defence Force Ensign is a flag of Australia which represents the tri-service Australian Defence Force. The flag was declared a "Flag of Australia" under Section 5 of the Flags Act 1953 on 14 April 2000.

The Royal Australian Navy and Air Force have ensigns, the Royal Australian Navy Ensign and the Royal Australian Air Force Ensign. The Army has historically used the Australian Flag. The Defence Ensign is supposed to be used in the case of joint activities. It is made up of three vertical bands: dark blue, red and light blue, representing the navy, army and air force respectively. In the centre is a large joint services emblem in yellow. This emblem features an anchor, crossed swords and a wedge-tailed eagle with wings outstretched combined above a boomerang and below a crest featuring a seven pointed Commonwealth Star.

The rank flags of staff with joint services commands, such as the Chief of Defence Force and the Minister for Defence, are derived from the Defence Force Ensign.

Australian Red Ensign

The Australian Red Ensign resulted from the Commonwealth Government's 1901 Federal Flag Design Competition which required two entries: a flag for official Commonwealth Government use and another for the merchant navy. The winning design was based on the traditional British Red Ensign and featured the Southern Cross and Commonwealth Star.

Australian White Ensign

The Australian White Ensign (also known as the Australian Naval Ensign or the Royal Australian Navy Ensign) is a naval ensign used by ships of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from 1967 onwards. From the formation of the RAN until 1967, Australian warships used the British White Ensign as their ensign. However, this led to situations where Australian vessels were mistaken for British ships, and when Australia became involved in the Vietnam War, the RAN was effectively fighting under the flag of another, uninvolved nation. Proposals were made in 1965 for a unique Australian ensign, which was approved in 1966, and entered use in 1967.

The Australian White Ensign is identical in design to the Australian National Flag, but with the reversal of the blue background and the white Commonwealth Star and Southern Cross.

Centenary Medal

The Centenary Medal was an award created by the Australian Government in 2001. It was established to commemorate the Centenary of Federation of Australia and to honour people who have made a contribution to Australian society or government. It was also awarded to centenarians: Australian citizens born on or before 31 December 1901 who lived to celebrate the centenary of federation on 1 January 2001. Nominations were assessed by a panel chaired by Professor Geoffrey Blainey, a historian.

Coat of arms of Australia

The coat of arms of Australia, officially called the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, is the formal symbol of the Commonwealth of Australia. A shield, depicting symbols of Australia's six states, is held up by the native Australian animals the kangaroo and the emu. The seven-pointed Commonwealth Star surmounting the crest also represents the states and territories, while floral emblems appear below the shield.

The first arms were authorised by King Edward VII on 7 May 1908, and the current version by King George V on 19 September 1912, although the 1908 version continued to be used in some contexts, notably appearing on the reverse of the sixpenny coin.

Flag of Australia

The flag of Australia is based on the British maritime Blue Ensign – a blue field with the Union Jack in the canton or upper hoist quarter – augmented or defaced with a large white seven-pointed star (the Commonwealth Star) and a representation of the Southern Cross constellation, made up of five white stars – one small five-pointed star and four, larger, seven-pointed stars. There are other official flags representing Australia, its people and core functions of government.

The flag's original design (with a six-pointed Commonwealth Star) was chosen in 1901 from entries in a competition held following Federation, and was first flown in Melbourne on 3 September 1901, the date proclaimed as Australian National Flag Day. A slightly different design was approved by King Edward VII in 1903. The seven-pointed commonwealth star version was introduced by a proclamation dated 8 December 1908. The dimensions were formally gazetted in 1934, and in 1954 the flag became recognised by, and legally defined in, the Flags Act 1953, as the "Australian National Flag".

Girl Guides Australia

Girl Guides Australia (GGA) is the national Guiding organisation in Australia. Its mission is to empower girls and young women to grow into confident, self-respecting members of the community. Membership is open to all girls and young women from all cultures, faiths and traditions. Guiding groups formed in Australia as early as 1909, and by 1920 Girl Guide Associations had been formed in six states. In 1926 the State Associations federated and formed a national organisation which became a founding member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 1928. It has 30,000 members (as of 2010) including 18,000 youth members, aged 5 to 17. Over a million Australian women are or have been Guides. The Girl Guide emblem incorporates the Commonwealth Star.


A heptagram, septagram, septegram or septogram is a seven-point star drawn with seven straight strokes.

The name heptagram combines a numeral prefix, hepta-, with the Greek suffix -gram. The -gram suffix derives from γραμμῆ (grammē) meaning a line.

Historical flags of the British Empire and the overseas territories

The Historical flags of the British Empire and the overseas territories refers to the various flags that were used across the various Dominions, Crown Colonies, Protectorates, territories which made up the British Empire and current Overseas territories. Early flags that were used across the Empire (In particular the then Thirteen Colonies which would later become the United States of America) tended to variations of the Red and Blue Ensigns of Great Britain with no colonial badges or coat of arms attached to them. In the first half of the 19th Century, the first colonies started to acquire their own colony badges, but it was not until the 1860s when legislation was passed by the UK Parliament that the colonies were encouraged to apply for their own emblems.The following list contains all former and current flags that were used across the Empire and as well as current British overseas territories from its earliest days until 1999.

List of Australian flags

This is a list of flags of different designs that have been used in Australia.

List of proposed Australian flags

This is a list comprising flags publicly suggested as alternatives to the current flag of Australia.

Proposed Northern Territory statehood

The Northern Territory (NT) is the most commonly mentioned potential seventh state of Australia. In a 1998 referendum, the voters of the Northern Territory rejected a statehood proposal that would have given the territory three Senators, rather than the twelve held by the other states, although the name "Northern Territory" would have been retained. Alongside what was cited as an arrogant approach adopted by then Chief Minister Shane Stone, it is believed that most Territorians, regardless of their general views on statehood, were reluctant to adopt the particular offer that was made.In July 2015, members of the Council of Australian Governments unanimously agreed with then Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles that the territory should become its own state by 1 July 2018. Little progress had been made on that proposal by June 2018.It has been suggested that statehood for the Northern Territory may lead to a change in the Australian flag. The design elements of the Australian flag have been changed seven times since it was first flown on 3 September 1901. However, in 1908 a seventh point was added to the "Commonwealth Star" to represent the Australian territories—originally this star had six points, one for each of the former colonies. Should the NT become a state then consideration may be given to adding another point to the Commonwealth Star. However at the time of the 1998 referendum the Australian government stated that the flag would not change even if Territorians voted for statehood.

Queen's Personal Australian Flag

The Queen's Personal Australian Flag is the personal flag of Queen Elizabeth II in her role as Queen of Australia. The flag was approved for use in 1962. It is only used by the Queen when she is in Australia, or attending an event abroad in her role as head of state of Australia. The Queen's representative, the Governor-General of Australia has a separate flag.

The flag consists of a banner of the coat of arms of Australia, defaced with a gold seven-pointed federation star with a blue disc containing the letter E below a crown, surrounded by a garland of golden roses.

Each of the six sections of the flag represents the heraldic badge of the Australian states, and the whole is surrounded by an ermine border representing the federation of the states:

The Upper Left represents New South Wales and bears a red St George's Cross, upon which is a gold lion in the centre and a gold star on each arm.

The Upper Middle represents Victoria and contains a Crown and five white stars on a blue field.

The Upper Right represents Queensland and consists of a blue Maltese cross, bearing a Crown, on a white field.

The Lower Left represents South Australia and includes a piping shrike on a gold field.

The Lower Middle represents Western Australia and consists of a black swan on a gold field.

The Lower Right represents Tasmania and contains a red lion on a white field.The gold seven-pointed star (the Commonwealth Star), represents the states and the territories. The blue disc is taken from the Queen's Personal Flag as used for duties within the Commonwealth of Nations.

The flag is used in two ratios, 1:2 and 22:31. The 1:2 ratio ensures the flag maintains visual integrity with other naval flags, which are 1:2. A 22:31 ratio gives simple dimensions for the flag elements, with a border of 2 units thick, and central squares of dimensions 9×9.

Shilling (Australian)

The Australian Shilling was a coin of the Commonwealth of Australia prior to decimalisation. The coin was minted from 1910 until 1963, excluding 1923, 1929, 1930, 1932, 1938, 1947, 1949 and 1951. After decimalisation on 14 February 1966, it was equal to 10c.

During World War II, between 1942–1944, shilling production was supplemented by coinage produced at the San Francisco branch of the United States Mint, which bear a small S below the ram's head.

Star (glyph)

In typography, a star is any of several glyphs with a number of points arrayed within an imaginary circle.

Star (heraldry)

In heraldry, the term star may refer to any star-shaped charge with any number of rays, which may appear straight or wavy, and may or may not be pierced. While there has been much confusion between the two due to their similar shape, a star with straight-sided rays is usually called a mullet while one with wavy rays is usually called an estoile.While a mullet may have any number of points, it is presumed to have five unless otherwise specified in the blazon, and pierced mullets are common; estoiles, however, are presumed to have six rays and (as of 1909) had not been found pierced. In Scottish heraldry, an estoile is the same as in English heraldry, but it has been said that mullet refers only to a mullet pierced (also called a spur revel), while one that is not pierced is called a star.

Sydney FC (W-League)

Sydney FC, also known as Sydney FC W-League is a soccer club based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It competes in the country's premier women's soccer competition, the W-League and has a direct affiliation with the men's A-League team Sydney FC.


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