Commonwealth of Australia, 1901

Commonwealth of Australia, 1901

The Australian flag, a defaced British Blue Ensign, depicts the Union Flag in the upper hoist with on the fly 5 white stars, representing the Southern Cross constellation, generally only visible in the southern hemisphere: the stars Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta each with seven points and Epsilon with five points because it doesn't shine as brightly as the other stars. Below the Union Flag is the large 7 pointed Federation Star, with one point for each of the six original states, and one representing all of Australia's internal and external territories. It was the winning design in a competition held for the occasion of the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. However, private citizen were initially only allowed to fly the Red Ensign on land, until restrictions were removed in 1941; in 1953 the Blue Ensign officially became the national flag for private citizens on land.

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