Test your knowledge

Aussie spirit: On Australia Day the Australian flag is expected to pop up everywhere, and not just fluttering from Government buildings, but how much do you know about the flag?
Aussie spirit: On Australia Day the Australian flag is expected to pop up everywhere, and not just fluttering from Government buildings, but how much do you know about the flag?

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While you enjoy a typical Australia Day in the sunshine, it’s a good time to question how much you know about your country.

A tourist or overseas friend or family member could ask you some curly questions.

For example, when was the current Australian flag accepted and what is the national animal and flower emblem?

“Regarding the Australian flag, a competition was launched in 1901 and five almost identical entries shared the prize,” a historian said, “Artist Annie Whistler Dorrington was the first named of the five.”

“It was first flown in 1901 in Melbourne. In 1908 a seventh point was added to the Commonwealth star to represent the territories.”

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Emblems

The golden wattle is the national flower emblem while the red kangaroo is the animal emblem. Some states and territories have more than one emblem.

  • Australian Capital Territory - Royal bluebell and gang-gang cockatoo
  • NSW - Waratah, platypus and kookaburra
  • Northern Territory - Sturt's desert rose, red kangaroo and wedge-tailed eagle
  • Queensland - Cooktown orchid and koala    
  • South Australia - Sturt's desert pea, hairy-nosed wombat and piping shrike or magpie
  • Tasmania - Tasmanian blue gum and Tasmanian devil        
  • Victoria - Common heath, Leadbeater's possum and helmeted honeyeater
  • Western Australia- Red-and-green kangaroo paw, numbat or banded anteater and black swan

The Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms is the symbol of the Commonwealth of Australia, the official badge of  the Commonwealth Government.

Often you can see it on Commonwealth Government buildings and on letterheads used by all government departments.

In 1912 the new design was approved by King George V, and is the Coat of Arms we use today.

The shield in the centre was divided into six, each with the badge of a state.

The shield and ‘supporters’, the kangaroo and emu, are now surrounded by golden wattle, the national floral emblem.