Commonwealth of Australia
The Founding of Australia. By Capt. Arthur Phillip R.N. Sydney Cove, Jan 26th 1788 / Original (oil) sketch (1937) by Algernon Talmage R.A. Raising the flag on Norfolk Island March 06, 2008 for Foundation Day

This 1901 version flag (ensign) was later approved (with minor changes) in red and blue versions. The original concept was to represent the relative brightness of each star in the constellation with the stars of the Southern Cross having 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5 points. The Commonwealth Star, symbol of Australian Federation, had six points, representing the six States. The photo on the right shows the flag covering the grave of 'Breaker Morant' in South Africa during the Boer War taken in February 1902. That's probably before the King even approved the designs.
Merchant Ensign 1901

From the State Library of New South Wales
Glorious WWII-era flag on sale from German Militaria.  87cm x 176cm multi-piece, double sided, cotton flag.

72" x 34" with maker's label- Brett of Balmain Sydney with telephone number -[02] 820711.
3 feet by 6 feet

Australian Centenary Flag (2001)

It is intended that the flag be a replacement for the 1901 flag which has been lost to the nation and commence a new tradition carrying with it the symbolism of the first flag. The flag would be known as the Centenary Flag. The flag would be maintained for all time as the Commonwealth's flag of state. The flag would be accompanied by a ledger to record each occasion on which it is flown. It is proposed that the flag have dimensions of approximately 3 metres by 1.5 metres and made of silk. It would have a special headband with a cardinal red stripe representing the thread of kinship that stands at the heart of the federation and an embroidered inscription formally recording the details of the re-enactment.
Department of Prime Minster and Cabinet
2 August 2001
 Merchant Ensign
Australian red ensign from the "Lismore" (WWII Minesweeper).

 1900 ensign with six-point star 33" x 68"

43 x 65 inches

Personal flag I picked up in Rome with bizarrely-arranged flags in the southern cross

On board the replica of the HMAS Endeavour and the spirit 2 tasmanian ferry.

 Flag measures approx 71" inches x 35" inches (6ft x 3ft). 
Royal Australian Navy
At first, Royal Australian Navy ships flew the British White Ensign from the stern, under the direction of the British Admiralty. Australian government ministers, along with their counterparts from other dominions such as Canada, had proposed in 1909 that a White Ensign defaced with a local symbol would be more appropriate, however the Admiralty insisted that the national flag flown from the jackstaff at the bow was sufficient to display the nationality of the ship.

By 1965, Australian forces were fighting in the Vietnam War, a war which did not involve the British, and a member of parliament questioned the appropriateness of using the ensign of another country. At the same time, it was reported in parliament that the Navy were looking for a distinctly Australian ensign. On considering the matter on 21 January 1966, the Naval Board recommended to the Government "that the Royal Australian Navy should have its own unique white ensign", a "white flag with the Union Flag in the upper canton at the hoist with six blue stars positioned as in the Australian flag". The new ensign was granted Royal Assent on 7 November 1966 and announced by the Prime Minister on 23 December 1966. The introduction of the ensign was brought forward from the originally planned date, 1 May 1967, to 1 March, when HMAS Boonaroo became the first ship to be commissioned under the Australian white ensign.

Australian White Ensign, 2 yards, made of a wool/nylon worsted mix. The Jack is sewn and the stars are appliquéd to the field. The flag was presumably a prototype (made in 1966 -a year before the adoption of the Australian White Ensign) and this flag has all of the original government contract stamps which are clearly legible. The lanyards were removed however this flag remains suitable for use as a sleeved flag on a pole 1 inch in diameter.
 Battle Ensign size approx 6 x 3 feet...Cotton with laid on construction and clean.Genuine Government Issue with markings

Royal Australian Air Force

The RAAF was established in 1921. On 24 July 1922, the British Royal Air Force Ensign was approved as the ensign of the RAAF which was used until 1948 when the RAAF asked to change the flag to avoid confusion. A warrant for the new flag, which had the roundel in the lower fly of sky-blue ensign with Commonwealth Star and tilted southern cross to match the Australian national flag, was given in 1949. The RAAF adopted a distinctive roundel on 2 July 1956; a red kangaroo replacing the red circle of the British version. The old roundel remained on the ensign, however, until 1981, when the Her Majesty The Queen approved the change to the current flag.
The Royal Australian Air Force Ensign is used by the Royal Australian Air Force in Australia and overseas. It is based on the Australian national flag, with the field changed to Air Force blue, and the southern cross tilted clockwise to make room for the RAAF roundel inserted in the lower fly quarter. The roundel is a red leaping kangaroo on white within a dark blue ring. The ensign was proclaimed as a Flag of Australia under section 5 of the Flags Act on 6 May 1982.
The southern cross is tilted so that Gamma Crucis stays in the same position as for the Australian National Flag and that Alpha Crucis is moved along the x-axis towards the hoist by one-sixth of the width of the flag. This results in the axis being rotated 14.036° clockwise around Gamma Crucis and each star is rotated in this way, although the constellation as an whole is not simply rotated.
The RAAF Ensign below was marched in and laid up in a solemn ceremony at the National Service Heritage Chapel to mark National Service Day in 2007. The hand-made silk flag, with gold fringes, was the gift of the National Servicemen’s Branch of the Royal Australia Air Force Association and honours the 23,500 men called up for service in the RAAF between 1951 and 1957. The President of the National Servicemen’s Branch of the RAAF Association, Bob Cotter, carried the Ensign in escorted by four Cadets. After kneeling at the altar, Cotter presented the Ensign to the Association’s State Padre, Dr.Noel Wallis, who draped it on the new altar table, blessed just before the Service. The RAAF Association’s Chaplain, Father Paul Goodland, then blessed the Ensign.

Left: Hanging in the "Australian Corner" of St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, London.Centre: Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Amberley Catafalque Party present arms as the Air Force Ensign is lowered during the Air Force 88th anniversary celebrations held at Queen's Gardens, Brisbane city. Right: At a 2007 Anzac Day parade in Brisbane
To celebrate the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF) 88th anniversary the RAAF Ensign was raised on the Canadian flag pole at Regatta point, Canberra. The Canadian Flagpole is located on the northern shore of Lake Burley Griffin at Regatta Point. It was given to Australia in 1955 by the Honourable C. D. Howe, Minister of Trade and Commerce, on behalf of the Government of Canada...The flagpole is from a single spar of Douglas Fir logged from a forest in the Canadian province of British Columbia...The flagpole is buried more than three metres underground and including this below-ground length, is a total of more than 39 metres in height. Each year on July 1, Canada’s national day, the Canadian flag can be seen flying from the flagpole.

  Satin Ceremonial (Factory Second)

RAAF Car Pennant
Australian Civil Air Ensign

 Inexplicable WWII RAN Ensign
Sold on eBay without any explanation as to what this flag actually was; appears to be similar to a Federation flag, but with more stars. 12 feet in length.

Australian Customs Service
The Australian Customs Flag is the flag flown by Australian Customs Service vessels and sometimes on ACS buildings. Any vessel acting in a customs capacity must fly this flag. The current version is an Australian National Flag with the word "CUSTOMS" added in bold between the Commonwealth Star and the lower part of the Southern Cross. This flag has been used since 1988.

The Customs Act 1901 was passed soon after federation, and like previous British and colonial legislation, required the use of a customs flag. The first flag appointed under this act was specified in Section 14 of the Customs Regulations, which were gazetted on 1901-10-01 in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No. 53, page 172:
"The Customs flag shall be the Blue Ensign, with the addition in the fly of the letters "HMC" in bold character, and the word 'Australia'".
An order in Council altered the regulations to remove the word "AUSTRALIA" from the flag.
Two flags(18ins x 30ins and 44ins x 24ins) made from a coarse lightweight cotton/hessian material with the Union flag and stars having been applied by machine in a white zigzag stitch and Union flag stitched on the back.

Commonwealth Lighthouse Service

Red and blue ensigns
Australian War Service
Australian Honour Flag
This flag was created at the time of the First World War as a reward to recognise Australian towns and districts which subscribed twice their quota of funds for the Commonwealth Government's seventh war loan in 1918. The funds were used to help cover the costs of Australia's World War I expenditure.
The flag had numerous holes throughout due to insect damage and also several tears. It is also faded and stained. The flag was initially cleaned with a slight improvement. As the flag is so damaged it was decided that it required a full lining. A matching wool fabric was selected and pieces were dyed to match the red, blue and cream sections of the flag. Each section was lined and careful hand stitching carried out. The blue silk stripes were lined individually with matching blue silk again using a hand stitching-technique. On completion a photo of the flag was taken and the photo framed and returned to Mintaro District. Much of the stitching work undertaken on the flag was carried out by a volunteer Margaret Cusack shown here.

Prime Minister

Chief of Army

Australian Brigadier

The Norforce Queen's colour

Governor General's Flag
 1931 car flag and pole
 Produced by lordnelsonsflaglocker

Historic and State flags of Australia

Red Ensign (1707-1800) - Lieutenant James Cook on HM Bark Endeavour on his first voyage of discovery was the first European to explore the east coast of Australia. He landed at Kurnell on Botany Bay on 29 April 1770. The Endeavour was in the service of the Royal Navy, but as it was not attached to any fleet, it flew the British Red Ensign (one of three flags then used by the Royal Navy).

Union Jack (1606-1800) - At Possession Island in the Torres Strait, Lieutenant James Cook raised the British flag and claimed the entire eastern coastline of Australia as British territory. On 26 January 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip established the first European settlement in Australia at Sydney Cove. The location of the landing and first flag raising is today commemorated with a flagpole in Loftus Street. The Union Jack was created on 12 April 1606, three years after King James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne as King James I. The flag combined the traditional English St.

George's Cross with the Scottish St. Andrew's Cross. It is correct to describe the flag as the Union Jack, but it can more formally be called the Union Flag. The name Queen Anne flag is erroneous.

Union Jack 1801 - The Act of Union 1801 merged Ireland with the Kingdom of Great Britain (which was formally created by the union of England and Scotland in 1707) to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland with effect from 1 January 1801. The Union Jack was modified to reflect this constitutional change by adding a Cross of St. Patrick to represent Ireland. A red diagonal cross on a white field has never been the traditional flag of Ireland nor even associated with St Patrick prior to 1801. Its use seems to have been only a heraldic convenience. The emblem had been used on some Irish coats of arms, including those of the FitzGerald family, early Royal representatives in Ireland. The traditional emblem of Ireland is a golden harp on a blue or green background; when a female figure is added to the fore-pillar of the harp it is called the Maid of Erin.
In Australia, the Union Jack was the sole official flag for use on land until Federation. After the creation of the Australian flag, the Union Jack continued to be regarded as the national flag of Australia, though gradually such usage was shared with the Australian red ensign, and later with the Australian blue ensign. The Flags Act 1953 has a clause that authorises the continued use of the Union Jack in Australia, though its usage has declined from the 1970s.

Red Ensign 1801 - The British red ensign was altered in 1801 to include the change to the design of the Union Jack. British legislation required, with a few exceptions, that all merchant shipping throughout the British Empire fly the British Red Ensign, without any defacement or modification. The ensign is sometimes referred to as the red duster. The Royal Navy stopped using the Red Ensign in 1864.

National Colonial Flag - Captain John Bingle, a former mariner, wrote his memoirs in 1881 in which he stated that Captain John Nicholson and he had designed a flag for use as a national colonial flag for Australia. He claimed that the flag had been approved by NSW Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane in 1823, though no other record of the flag or any approval has been found. The flag has been promoted as the earliest Australian flag and the first use of the Southern Cross on a flag. The image is of a reconstruction of the flag by Sydney vexillologist, John Vaughan, based on a Bingle's written description.

NSW Ensign / Australian Ensign - A flag chart contained in an 1832 book, New South Wales Calendar and General Post Office Directory included a flag that was captioned N.S.W. Ensign. It shows a white British ensign with a blue cross overall upon which are five 8-pointed stars. This flag is believed to have been widely used as a local merchant shipping flag in Sydney and on the east coast of Australia, becoming known as the Australian Ensign. The flag however

was unofficial and in 1883, the British Admiralty prohibited its continued use by vessels due to its claimed similarity to the Royal Navy's White Ensign.

Murray River Flag - The first paddle-steamer went into service on the Murray River in 1853 and a flag called the Murray Flag was flown in its honour. Though the flag was used by many of the paddle steamers no example has survived and there are no contemporary illustrations. The flag was described by a 1854 journalist's report as "it bears a red cross with four horizontal bars of blue, the cross being charged with five stars as emblems of the different Australian colonies". The illustration represents a reconstruction by Frank Cayley in 1966. The flag continues to be used by craft on the Murray River, including several historic paddle steamers and more modern tourist boats. A different version of the Murray River Flag used in South Australia is based on an alternate interpretation of the contemporary description.

Queensland Separation Flag - A separate colony of Queensland was established on 10 December 1859. Separation from New South Wales was celebrated by the flying of a new flag - the Queensland Ensign, which has become known as the Queensland Separation Flag. Only a written description exists - "a light blue flag with a red St George's Cross and union in the corner"; the illustration represents a reconstruction. It is unclear for how long the flag was used. The flag continues to be flown at Newstead House in Brisbane.

Lambing Flat - Strikes and unemployment on the goldields in southern NSW in the early 1860s were the catalyst for violence and riots directed against immigrant Chinese labourers. One of the worst disturbances was at Lambing Flat (now Young) where, on 30 June 1861 miners attacked the Chinese quarter killing and wounding several labourers. A public meeting of miners had been advertised by a banner painted on the side of a tent. At its centre was a Scottish St. Andrews Cross with four white stars. It is possible that this emblem was intended to refer to the Eureka Flag with its white cross and stars of the Southern Cross. Despite the harshness of the "No Chinese" slogan, this remains an important historical relic. Painted on canvas, it is strictly not a flag, but is considered significant in showing the early emergence of the Southern Cross as an Australian symbol. The banner is on display at the Lambing Flat Folk Museum, Young.

Victorian red ensign - On 1 February 1870 Victoria adopted two flags - a blue flag with the Southern Cross for use by the first Australian colonial warship (HMCS Nelson) and a red version for use by the mercantile marine. The Victorian Red Ensign was approved by the British Board of Trade, even though this was contrary to the normal practice that colonial shipping was required to use the British Red Ensign without a badge. It was used (without any crown) until 1903 and it came to be flown on land, particularly in the lead-up to Federation.
This red ensign was a clear antecedent of the winning design in the 1901 competition for an Australian flag. The Australian flag design was merely the Victorian Red Ensign with the addition of the six-pointed Federal Star. It should be noted that the arrangement of stars was 9,8,7,6 and 5-pointed and the badge extended over the full area of the fly of the flag - identical to the layout of the winning Australian design (though the stars on the blue Victorian state flag had altered to 8,7,7,6 and 5 points in 1876).

Queensland 1870 - The badge for the first flag for Queensland was adopted on 22 March 1870 by Governor Samuel Blackall. It consisted of a portrait of the young Queen Victoria crowned with the Diamond Diadem together with the inscription Queensland. The badge clearly attests that the colony had been named in honour of the Queen. However it was difficult to produce on bunting a fair representation of the head of Her Majesty and the decision was made in 1876 to replace the badge with the current design.

Tasmanian Colonial Flag - On 9 November 1875, the Tasmanian government proclaimed a new Colonial Flag for use by local ships. It was a British red ensign with the addition of a white cross overall and the Southern Cross. However, it was revoked on 23 November - only 14 days later - when it was realised that the flag was contrary to British Admiralty rules for colonial flags. The flag however did have some continued existence - on the label of Cascade Brewery's Sparkling Pale Ale beer during the 1920s through to the 1940s.

South Australia 1876 - The British Admiralty rules required that the colonial flags be the British Blue Ensign with a badge consisting of the public seal of the colony or some other drawing to represent the colony. In 1870 Victoria, NSW, New Zealand and South Australia each submitted to London badge designs that featured the Southern Cross. In response to criticism from the British Admiralty, on 24 March 1876 South Australia decided to use its seal on the flag. This was a complex allegorical scene of Britannia meeting an Australian Aboriginal seated on a rock on a beach. This flag was in use until 1904 when it was replaced by the current design.

Federation Flag - In the mid-1880s efforts to join the separate Australasian colonies into an Australian federation increased. The earlier Australian Ensign was revived for use on land and in printed materials to promote federation, particularly in NSW and Queensland. In the absence of an official Australian flag in January 1901, this Federation Flag was widely used. When Prime Minister Edmund Barton submitted the winning design in the Federal flag competition to the British authorities in 1902, he also included the Federation Flag as Design B - an alternative for adoption as the new Australian national flag. It was rejected without any consideration as it did not conform to the style of official British flags. Usage as an unofficial Australian flag continued until Word War I.

Herald Federal Flag - With Federation approaching questions arose as to what the flag of a federated Australia should be. In 1900 the Melbourne Evening Herald newspaper conducted a public competition for a Federal Flag. Mr F. Thompson won the £25 prize and the flag has become known as the Herald Federal Flag. Federation was symbolised with six red stripes below the Union Jack and Australia was represented by the Southern Cross. Two versions were created, one with the Southern Cross on a blue background for use by the Government and another for general use with a red backgound. The design was both praised and criticised, leading to another competition by the Review of Reviews for Australasia magazine that was later incorporated into the Federal Government's flag design competition in 1901.

Royal Standard 1901 - The inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia took place on 1 January 1901, with the formal ceremony in Centennial Park, Sydney. As there was no official Australian flag, this and other celebrations were marked with the use of the Federation Flag, the Victorian Red Ensign and the Union Jack. Above the Swearing-in-Pavilion, the flag flown was the British Royal Standard, marking the presence of the Governor-General, the Earl of Hopetoun.

Governor General 1903 - A flag for the Governor-General was adopted in 1903 in the usual form for colonial governors. It was a Union Jack with a central disc containing the badge of Australia - a six pointed star surmounted by a crown. Initially, the Governor-General was the representative of the British Government in Australia and all major correspondence between the Australian Government and Britain passed through the office of the Governor-General. The Statute of Westmonster 1931 changed the relationship between the Dominions and Britain and this was reflected by the appointment of a separate British High Commissioner in 1931 and a change in the flag of the Governor-General in 1936.

Australia: People's Flag - The 1901 flag design competition was announced on 3 September 1901 and the selected design was subsequently modified and formally adopted from 20 February 1903, with a further change to the current design from 23 February 1908. Initially the blue version of the Australian flag was limited to government use and the red was only intended for use by private shipping. At sea the use of the Union Jack was prohibited except on warships of the Royal Navy and there was uncertainty as to whether ordinary people could use the Union Jack on land.
The practice developed during the 19th century in Britain and other parts of the Empire for the British Red Ensign to be used on land when private citizens wanted to fly a flag from a building. This practice explains why the flag of Canada until 1965 was a red ensign. Accordingly, the Australian Red Ensign was the flag used when businesses and individuals wanted to fly a local flag, either in addition to or in place of the Union Jack. The Australian Red Ensign historically can be considered to be the People's Flag, though there was no contemporary use of this description.

British White Ensign - The Royal Australian Navy was formally established in July 1911. The first Australian warships, HMAS Parramatta and HMAS Yarra, were built in Scotland and arrived in Australia in December 1910. A Naval Conference between the British Admiralty and Australia determined in June 1911 that Australian warships would fly the White Ensign of the Royal Navy as their principle flag. When warships are in port, an additional flag is flown on the jackstaff - this was the blue Australian National Flag. The British White Ensign was used by the Royal Australian Navy until 1 March 1967 when the Australian White Ensign came into use.

RAF Ensign - The Royal Australian Air Force was established in 1921. In March 1922 the RAAF's Air Council decided that the flag of the Royal Air Force would be used in Australia. A proposal to use a flag that included the Commonwealth Star and added the Southern Cross to the roundel had been rejected by the British authorities. A distinctive ensign for the RAAF was not adopted until 1948.

Anti-transportation League - Formed in Launceston to oppose the transportation of convicts to Australia, the Australasian League for the Abolition of Transportation had established branches in several colonies by 1851. At a meeting held in Melbourne a large flag was unfurled - it was a British blue ensign upon which were four golden stars forming the Southern Cross. This is the first known flag using the Southern Cross in a natural arrangement and it is considered to be a significant antecedent to the current Australian National Flag. The original flag is in the collection of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston. The League was dissolved when transportation to Tasmania ended in 1853.

The flag was designed in 1849 by Reverend John West of Launceton, Tasmania, and from 1851 was used by the Australian Anti-Transportation League in the Australian colonies and in New Zealand. The League was formed in 1851 to campaign against the continuance of convict transportation to Australia and New Zealand. The flag of the League featured a gold Southern Cross on a Blue Ensign. A white border usually featured the League's name, year of institution and identified the colony in which it was flown. The five stars of the Southern Cross were said to represent the colonial settlements in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and New Zealand. The League's flag strongly resembles the Australian National Flag and its influence can be seen in the design of the flag of Victoria. (contributed by Blas Delgado Ortiz). This is the Tasmanian Local Version, cloth flag now in Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston

Murray River Flags

The Murray River is represented by two flags, each flag similar but based on different interpretations of the original description. The Upper Murray Flag has darker blue bands on its flag, representing the darker waters of the river's upper reaches. This design was also the house flag of the Murray River Steam Navigation Co. which suggests that it is a lineal descendant of the original flag design. The Lower Murray Flag, used predominantly in South Australia, is distinguished by the use of pale blue bands representing the lighter coloured water of the lower reaches of the Murray.

Upper Murray River Flag
The Murray River Flag is flown from paddle steamers and other vessels in the Australian States of Victoria and South Australia that ply the waters of the Murray-Darling river system. Little is known about the flag's early history but it may have originated as far back as 1850 when the formation of the Murray River League was announced. RW Beddome, founder of the League, enthused "Up with the Murray flag." One of the earliest recorded references to the Murray River Flag was at Goolwa to honour the first paddlesteamer to go into service on the Murray River. The Mary Ann, built by three brothers William, Thomas and Elliot Randell, began her voyage from Mannum downstream to Goolwa on March 4, 1853. The Murray River Flag was hoisted upon their arrival.
The flag was described by a reporter of the Australian Register:
The flag bears a red cross with four horizontal blue bars. The cross being charged with five stars as emblems of the Colonies while the upper corner, is taken up with British connections which is depicted by the Union Jack. It has been named, we understand, the Murray River Flag.
It is believed that the blue bars represent the four major rivers that run into the Murray River, the Murrumbidgee, Lachlan and the Darling. The design bears a strong resemblance to other Australian flags of the 19th Century, such as the Australian Federation Flag and the National Colonial Flag for Australia.

Unidentified flag

Lower Murray River Flag

View of the Murray River flag, suspended from the ceiling of the Signal Point cafe at Goolwa. The appearance of the River Murray flag is a matter of speculation, but it is generally accepted to comprise the Union Jack in the top left and the cross of St George in the top right with five white stars, representing the five Australian colonies, on the red of the cross. Below are four blue and four white horizontal stripes. It has been speculated that the four blue stripes represent the four rivers that make up the Murray-Darling system, the Murray, Darling, Lachlan and Murrumbidgee. Today, two flags are common – the Upper Murray flag and the Lower Murray flag. The blue bars of the Upper Murray flag are dark blue, representing the dark waters of that part of the river and those of the Lower Murray flag are pale blue, representing the blue, grey water of the lower reaches.
New South Wales
New South Wales Ensign/Federation Flag
Wool bunting flag with a cotton hoist and cord halyard. The design is printed with the ends of the flag machine sewn. The top and bottom sides are selvedge edges. There are hand sewn repairs. The field is white with a blue cross overall bearing five white five-pointed stars. A Union flag is placed in the canton. The flag was originally designed by Captain John Nicholson in 1831 as a proposed New South Wales ensign. It was used as an unofficial merchant ensign until the Admiralty banned its use at sea in 1883. The flag was subsequently adopted by the Federation movement during campaigns to merge the six Australian colonies into a nation state. Although not adopted as the national flag in 1901, it continued in use until the 1920's. 
 The Australian Federation Flag, also known as the New South Wales Ensign, was the result of an 1830s attempt to create a flag to represent Australia as a nation. It was proposed in 1831 in the NSW Calendar and Post Office Gazette by Captain John Nicholson, Sydney's Harbour Master, who also designed it. The flag was based on the Colonial Flag of 1823, which Captain Nicholson helped design. Like the Colonial Flag, the Federation Flag features a combination of the Union Flag and the Southern Cross, but the cross is blue, not red, and there are five stars, not four. The flag's appearance varied greatly depending on where it was made: different manufacturers produced Federation Flags with darker or lighter shades of blue for the cross background; using five-pointed stars instead of eight; or positioning the stars in different places. The flag looks similar to the Eureka Flag, which was designed in 1854 and was based on designs such as the Federation flag according to some historians.

The flag of New South Wales was officially adopted by the government of New South Wales in 1876 and is a defaced British Blue Ensign with the state badge located in the fly. The badge is a white disc with the cross of St George by the Colonial Architect James Barnet and Captain Francis Hixson, a retired Royal Navy officer. Even though no meaning for the design was given, it is perhaps a simplified version of what was the semi-official arms of New South Wales at the time.. In the centre of the cross is a golden lion passant guardant and on each arm of the cross is an eight-pointed gold star. This flag was adopted due to criticisms from the British Admiralty that the previous design was too similar to the design of the Victorian flag.
 186 x 88 cm flag, personal collection
7 feet by 3 feet stitched flag
Linen 74 X 35" flag made by Stonewall
New South Wales at the World Columbian Exposition
New South Wales was the only colony from Australia to take part at the World Columbian Exposition, in Chicago, 1893. Besides its flag can be seen the flags of the New South Wales ensign (also known as the 'Federation flag'), a white ensign with a blue St George's cross with five stars, what appears to be an early version of the Australian flag, and one at the immediate right which at the moment I can't properly identify (possibly Tasmania?).
Governor of New South Wales
The New South Wales State Governor used the defaced Union Flag which changed to a defaced Blue Ensign in 1981.
Above is Australian Vexillographer John Vaughan's artwork, which shows the St. Edward's crown sitting on the disk. The significance of this is that according to the Governor's office and John, this is the "official" drawing for the flag as John is the manufacturer for the NSW Governor's office where the Governor's flag is concerned.
You may also recall the debate about whether of not a black ring should exist around any disk on an Australian state flag. Well, according to John, the ring should be there on the Governor's flag, and so it is on the actual flag. Clay Moss

New South Wales merchant shipping flag
In the early years of the 19th Century the name New South Wales was frequently interpreted as including most of the Australian Continent. In the 1830s Captain John Nicholson added two blue stripes to his New South Wales Ensign (later known as the Australian Ensign and then as the Federation Flag) and designated it a proposed merchant shipping flag for Australia. The Red Ensign remained the official merchant flag.

New South Wales Police Service
Flag produced by Artelina

New South Wales Ambulance Service
Flag provided by Clay Moss on the left, with the one on the right sold on eBay by flagsofempire:
I am an Ambulance Paramedic based in Newcastle NSW, and have been in the service since 1977. I am the manager of the Ambulance Service's Ceremonial Guard, which we established in 1988. We are a volunteer unit staffed by serving officers, and are based in Newcastle. In regards to information on the usage of our flag, it is indeed in use constantly with the Ceremonial Guard. We carry it with the state and national flags as well as city flags on Anzac Day, Vietnam Veterans Day and other civic functions. It was used and still is at serving and retired officers funerals although recently the national flag is allowed us at funerals. John Playford
Maritime Services Board of New South Wales
The Maritime Services Board was established on 1 February 1936 (1) under the Maritime Services Board Act, 1935 which received assent on 10 December 1935. (2) The creation of the Board followed the recommendations of the Maritime Services Co-ordination Board. The functions of the Board were the administration of ports and port facilities such as wharves, pilotage services, the conservation of navigable waters, ensuring the safety of passengers and seaworthiness of vessels registered in New South Wales or operating solely in New South Wales and with ensuring that vessels operating in New South Wales are manned by duly qualified persons. The flag is a British blue ensign defaced with the badge of the Maritime Services Board of NSW. The badge features a gold ship in the middle of a southern cross made up of four gold five-pointed stars, all on a red disc with a blue and gold border. Below the disc is a ribbon with the words "THE MARITIME SERVICES BOARD OF N.S.W".

The flag of Queensland is a British Blue Ensign defaced with the state badge on a white disc in the fly featuring a light blue Maltese Cross with an imperial crown in the centre of the cross. The flag dates from 1870, with minor variations, and the badge was designed by William Hemmant, the Colonial Secretary and Treasurer of Queensland in 1876. This particular example uses the wrong shade of blue for the cross.
Made for me by Artelina.

Merchant Ensign
Governor's flag
In Queensland, the Governor still flies the Union Jack with its badge in a laurel wreath in the centre of the Saint-George's cross. Queensland is the only state to still do this. The right shows the standard flying from his Rolls Royce.
Queensland branch of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia

Royal Queensland Regiment
The Queen's and Regimental colours of the Royal Queensland Regiment surmounted by the Regimental hat badge below which are shown the 9th Battalion, 25/49th Battalion, 31st Battalion and the 42 Battalion flags.
poster sold at
South AustraliaThe first flag of South Australia was adopted in 1870. It too was a defaced British Blue Ensign, but with a black disc in the fly containing the Southern Cross and the two pointers (Alpha and Beta Centauri).
Colonial ensign of South Australia used from 1878 to 1904. It is made of wool bunting, machine stitched at the ends with the upper and lower sides selvedged. The whole design is printed. The linen hoist is marked 'M.P.' in ink and a cord is attached for hoisting. The flag is a blue ensign defaced with the circular badge of the colony in the fly. This depicts a standing Britannia holding a shield with the British Royal arms and extending a hand to a seated Australian Aboriginal with a spear. A kangaroo is carved on the rock behind. In 1904, Britannia was replaced by a badge showing a local bird - the piping shrike, in heraldic form.
South Australia then adopted a second flag in 1876, also a Blue Ensign, with a new badge. The badge design was an artistic rendition of the arrival of Britannia (a woman in flowing garb and holding a shield, representing the new settlers) meeting an Aboriginal sitting with a spear on a rocky shoreline. A kangaroo appears to be carved into the rocks behind the Aboriginal. This flag was adopted after a request from the Colonial Office for a new design over the old one due to its similarity to the flags of New Zealand and Victoria.
Personal sewn and printed reproduction with the badge appliquéd to the field. It measures 27x54 inches, made in Australia, and is complete with flag clips.
The current state flag of South Australia, was officially adopted by the government of South Australia in 1904. The flag is based on the defaced British Blue Ensign with the state badge located in the fly. The badge is a gold disc featuring a Piping Shrike with its wings outstretched. The badge is believed to have been designed by Robert Craig. Shown is a sewn Wool 36"x72" vintage flag estimated by seller to be at least 60 years old with a printed badge. It originally came from the Tumbling Waters Museum and has some identification numbers written on the canvas heading. No maker's label.

Governor's Flag

South Australia Police

Van Diemen's Land Ensign
The Van Diemen's Land Ensign is an unofficial merchant flag, which was used in the colony (later renamed Tasmania) prior to the adoption of the current Tasmanian Flag in 1875. The earliest known reference to the Van Diemen's Land Ensign is from an 1850s flag chart by Captain John Nicholson, Harbour Master of Sydney. The flag is similar in design to the New South Wales Merchant Flag, which is believed to also be the historical origin of the Murray River Flag.

Current Flag
The flag consists of a defaced British Blue Ensign with the state badge located in the fly consisting of a white disk with a red lion passant in the centre. Where this design originated from is unknown, but it is assumed that the red lion is a link with England. This flag has remained almost unchanged since 1875, with only a slight change of the style of the lion when the flag was officially adopted by the government in 1975, although this was a mistake, as it had already been officially gazetted by the colonial government in 1876.

Former Tasmanian Red Ensign

Apparently the red ensign of 1875
Current ensign

Governor's Flag
The Tasmanian State Governor's flag was changed to a slight variation of the State Flag, with the addition of the St. Edward's Crown above the fly badge in February 1977, after the South Australian governor made a similar change. Ralph Bartlett 

The flag of Victoria is a British Blue Ensign defaced by the state badge of Victoria in the fly consisting of the Southern Cross topped by an imperial crown, which is currently the St Edward's Crown. The stars of the Southern Cross are white and range from five to eight points with each star having one point pointing to the top of the flag. The flag dates from 1877, with minor variations, the last of which was in 1953.
Standard of the Governor of Victoria
Governor's Flag
18 APRIL 1984
His Excellency the Governor, Rear Admiral Sir Brian Murray, today announced that Her Majesty The Queen had graciously approved of a change in the Personal Standard of the Governor of Victoria. From this day, the Governor's Personal Standard will be the State Flag of Victoria with the blue of the flag being replaced by gold. The new Standard will be flown at Government House and on vehicles conveying the Governor. The old Standard used by all Victorian Governors has been, since 1870, the Union Jack with the Badge of the State emblazoned in the centre thereof.
Victoria Police EnsignVictoria Police ensign, made from Bemberg silk and edged with silver twist fringe, held in the main Chapel of the Victoria Police Academy in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The badge itself is hand embroidered with gold and silver bullion silk thread.

Western Australia

The first flag of Western Australia was adopted in 1860 and is almost identical to the current flag of Western Australia. The only difference is that the swan was facing the opposite direction towards the fly rather than towards the hoist. The direction of the swan was changed to conform to the vexillological guideline that animals on flags must face the hoist, so when carried on a pole, the animal faces the same direction of the bearer.
Current flag
The state flag of Western Australia made of synthetic and wool bunting with a cotton hoist. It is entirely machine-sewn with a cord for hoisting attached. The flag is blue with a Union Flag in the canton. There is a circular cotton badge in the fly with a black swan on a yellow background. A maker's label is attached inscribed: 'TUDALUX. Another flag from TUDOR HOUSE, 286 Albany Highway, Victoria Park. Telephone 361 1620 [pencil] 6 x 3 WA'. The flag was acquired with items for an America's Cup display in 1986. When the colony of Western Australia first adopted the flag in 1870, the swan faced away from the hoist. As this was felt to be heraldically incorrect, its direction was changed in 1953 when the present design was adopted.

Governor's Flag 1953-1988 and Current

Western Australia Fire Service Ensign
The Western Australian State flag is a blue ensign with the addition of the State badge of a black swan on a gold circle symmetrically placed between the second and fourth quarters with the swan swimming towards the hoist. It is clearly based on the British Fire Service Flag used in World War Two:

Australian Antarctic Territory 

Unrecognised Australian Secessionist States and Micronations

Dominion of Westralia
Matthew Lewis Moss, H.K. Watson, James MacCallum Smith and Sir Hal Colebatch at London's Savoy Hotel in 1934 displaying the flag for a proposed Dominion of Westralia. The delegation was attempting to convince the British Government for the right for Western Australia to secede from the Australian federation.

Province of Bumbunga
The Province of Bumbunga was an Australian secessionist micronation located on a farm near Snowtown and Lochiel, (northeast of Adelaide), South Australia during the 1970s and 1980s. The Province was founded by Alex Brackstone, a former circus monkey-trainer, uranium prospector and postmaster who, was determined to do his part to ensure that at least part of the Australian landmass would remain eternally loyal to the Crown.The Commonwealth of Caledonia Australis
The Commonwealth of Caledonia Australis is a secessionist movement denying the authority of the Government of Australia on grounds of extremely questionable legal reasoning.

Norfolk Islanders of Pitcairn Descent Flag

In 1985 the Society of Descendants of Pitcairn Settlers of Norfolk Island adopted the pre 1801 Queen Anne Red Ensign, featuring a Norfolk Island pine tree in a white circular badge. In 1987 the descendants' flag was raised aboard HMAV Bounty Replica. The original ship Bounty sailed under the old British Red Ensign. In an act of reconciliation the flag of the Norfolk Islanders of Pitcairn Descent was hoisted, not only by the descendants of the mutineers, but also by the descendants of Captain William Bligh.
Dominion of New Zealand
Surviving example of the 1899 version of the flag, 170cm x 90cm; personal collection
Paying honour to it during a Third Reich tour I gave for the Tauranga International School (with American military honour flag on right)
In 1887 the British Board of Trade set up a committee to revise the International Code of Signals. Details of the revised code, due to come into use on 1st January 1901, were published in 1898. It continued the existing practice that, "A ship wishing to make a signal hoists her ensign with the code flag under." A new ensign was introduced to identify British colonial merchant ships, a white circle in the fly of the Red Ensign, with the badge of the colony inside the circle.
The Nautical Adviser to the New Zealand Marine Department recommended that four red stars should be set in the circle on the Red Ensign, and a similar badge used on the Blue Ensign. The New Zealand Government agreed to this, and a request for approval of the ensigns was forwarded to London on 5th July 1898 by the Governor, the Earl of Ranfurly. The ensigns were authorised by an Admiralty Warrant dated 7th February 1899, announced in the New Zealand Gazette on 23rd November 1899, and came into use on 1st January 1900. The white circle on the image of the blue ensign by Sam Lockton is possibly a little over-size. The Red Ensign version is similar.
Although intended only for use at sea, the ensigns were also flown on land. William Hall-Jones, Minister of Public Works, and also Minister of Marine, wrote to the Secretary of Public Buildings, and to the Secretary of the Marine Department, "I think it should be clearly understood that the New Zealand flag is that which has been used for so many years (without the disc) and that the Blue and Red Ensigns with the white disc are simply signal flags used to indicate that the vessel is a Colonial one."
On 6th July 1900, questions were asked in Parliament; why had these flags been introduced, and by whose authority? Sir Richard Seddon, the Premier, explained that the government had been persuaded to fall in line with the practice in other colonies. However the flags were being harmed, by their use in commercial advertising, and he proposed to introduce a Bill, re-instating the previous flag, and regulating its use.
The flag of New Zealand is a defaced Blue Ensign with the Union Jack in the canton, and four red stars with white borders to the right. The stars represent the constellation of Crux, the Southern Cross, as seen from New Zealand. Personal Collection- American military flag.
 4 feet by 6 feet sewn cotton flag by Dettra

British and New Zealand flags at Auckland Museum
The Anglo-Boer War gallery and South Africa War 1899-1902 (Second Anglo-Boer War)

Civil Ensign

Glorious WWII-era flag on sale from German Militaria.  A 66cm x 138 cm, multi-piece constructed, double sided flag. The white cotton bunting is marked "1 ½ yd NZ Red Ensign" with a white manufacture tag for "Hutcheson Wilson".
135" (343cm) x 70" (180.5cm), weight approx 1.3 kilos
Made of a woven material and has 2 inglefield clips for hoisting, the flag measures 103"x 49"

Royal New Zealand Navy
The seller of this 2 1/2 feet by 18 inch ensign claims that this flag is of "(a)lmost certain to be of WW2 vintage" when the flag design itself only dates from 1968.
Royal New Zealand Air Force
At the New Zealand National Council, 2006
Left: The New Zealand Flag and flags of the RNZN, RNZAF, the original banner of the New Zealand Returned Soldiers’ Association and the current Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association banner and the flags of Australia, Canada and Fiji are arraigned on stage by New Zealand Defence Force bearers and escorts.
Corporal Chris Watty raises the Royal New Zealand Air Force ensign to commemorate its 71st anniversary.

Civil Air Ensign
Bruce Berry Collection
New Zealand has used an analogue to the British Civil Air Flag, to be used by «British aircraft registered in New Zealand». This flag was adopted for use on 16 November 1938. It is identical to the British Civil Air Flag, a light blue air force ensign with a dark blue cross, fimbriated white, except that it adds four red five-pointed stars in the shape of the Southern Cross in the lower fly quarter. It has generally fallen into disuse in favour of the national flag. Stuart Park

Governor (1908-1936)

New Zealand Ensign Presented to the Terra Nova by the Pupils of Lyttelton District High School During Scott's second expedition (1910—12), his ship Terra Nova put into Lyttelton, New Zealand, to repair a leak. A local school made a collection for the expedition and presented the ship with a New Zealand ensign with the additional inscription 'L.D.H.S. (Lyttelton District High School) TO TERRA NOVA'.

New Zealand police ensign

This ensign consists of a Royal Blue flag proportioned 1:2. The New Zealand National Ensign appears in the canton. In the fly of the flag is the New Zealand Police Seal coloured silver-grey. The seal consists of the Queen’s Crown surmounting three inter linked letters ("NZP" for New Zealand Police). The letters are surrounded by two silver ferns. This flag is flown outside all police stations in New Zealand. It flies beneath the New Zealand Blue Ensign on National Holidays, and is draped upon the caskets of Police Officers killed in the line of duty.
Dean Thomas

New Zealand Fire Service ensign
The Fire Service Ensign is used at major Fire Service stations. Sam Lockton

New Zealand Ministry of Transport

Queen's New Zealand Colour of the Officer Cadet School
Queen's Colour for Royal New Zealand Navy
 Proposed Flags of North Island and South Island
Maori flags

The Red Ensign was (and is) widely used by Maori on land. The specific provision in New Zealand’s current flag legislation permits its use on land and the defacing of the flag, in a Maori context only. This sanctions the long-standing custom of applying white capital letters identifying the particular family or tribal group whose flag it is. There are many examples, old and current — one example in a photo to hand reads «TAKITIMU» — which is the name of one of the ancestral canoes, and thus of a grouping of tribes who are descended from its crew.
Flag of Australasian Team, 1908 and 1912 Olympic Games

During the early days of the Olympic Movement, Australia and New Zealand were represented jointly by one IOC member for "Australasia". They even competed as a joint Australasian team, during the Olympic Games of 1908 and 1912, using a special Australasian flag. Unfortunately, it's not clear whether this was a team flag only, or whether it was also used by the organisations of the Games to represent Australasia. A photograph taken at London 1908 shows that, at least during the Parade of Flags, Australia was represented by its own flag.