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Governor-General - Australia

Last modified: 2005-04-23 by jonathan dixon
Keywords: australia | governor-general |
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[Governor General's Flag] by Željko Heimer, 15 Jun 2002

See also:


Standard blue flag with Royal Crest surmounting a scroll. Note Canada and the Union of South Africa adopted this style of Governor-General's flag in 1931.
David Prothero, 22 Feb 1999

At the official website of the Governor-General of Australia I found a page about this flag at

Governor-General's Flag

In Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No. 56 of 16 July 1936 it was notified that the Governor-General had adopted a personal flag for use in Australia.

The flag, which is in the proportion of two to one, has a royal blue background on which is the Royal Crest in gold (on a St Edward's Crown a lion statant guardant also crowned) with the words "Commonwealth of Australia" in dark blue letters on a gold scroll below the Crest.

The Governor-General's flag is flown continuously when His Excellency is in residence. It is also flown on vehicles in which the Governor-General is travelling.

Reprinted from The Australian National Flag published by the Department of Administrative Services, Canberra 1982.

Mark Sensen, 14 Jun 2002

The Governor General officially still uses the blue flag with the royal crest and the scroll "Commonwealth of Australia". However, I have noticed that this crest is being used less and less on official documents and symbols, a new crest being a Sprig of Wattle surmounted by the Crown is now in frequent use. I would imagine that it is only a matter if time before the Governor General's Flag changes.
Chris Donnelly, 8 Aug 2004


[Governor-General's flag 1902-09] by Martin Grieve, 10 Mar 2005
See detail of the badge

The flag of the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia was introduced in 1902 and modified in 1909.

On a Union Flag, standard white background disc, with no surrounding garland; a six-pointed gold star surmounted by the Royal Crown, the star and Crown within a gold circlet and an inner surround of ears of corn (wheat). The star is divided by lines from the centre to the points and indents (is this correctly called gyronny?), with the left half of the resulting diamond shapes, a darker shade than the right half.
David Prothero, 22 Feb 1999

I thought that the shading on the star was symmetrical, but a drawing made for Amendment Number 12 to the 1889 edition of the Admiralty Flag Book shows that the shading was as in the images above.
[Source: National Archives(PRO) ADM 116/1063B]
David Prothero, 10 Mar 2005

When approval was sought from London for the new Australian national flag on 18 Feb 1902 [see here], the Governor-General included another design, saying:

2. I have also to enclose a design, marked "C". of the Flag which appears to me to be suitable for adoption as The Flag for The Governor-General of The Commonwealth of Australia. The Naval Commander-in-Chief on the Australian Station has also expressed his approval of this design. I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient, humble servant &c.
This reached London on the 4th March. In response, a Colonial Office Minute said:
As regards Design "C", which is the design for the Flag of the Governor General, it conforms to the King's Regulation 77 c (assuming the Six-point Star be taken as the Commonwealth Badge) except as regards the crown. If the crown is to form part of the Badge it should so appear on the Commonwealth Flag. If not part of the Badge it should be omitted. See last part of Admiralty letter of 28th July 1875 enclosed in the Circular of 23rd August 1875. The Admiral has expressed concurrence. Possibly he looked upon the Crown as part of the Badge.
[It was usual to have the same badge on the Blue Ensign and on the Flag of the Governor. The Admiralty letter of 28th July 1875 had considered the flags of New Zealand and New South Wales, and suggested discontinuing the badge on the New Zealand Blue Ensign in favour of that on the Flag of the Governor, and removing the crown from the New South Wales badge.]

A reply from the Admiralty on 25 June said:

With reference to your letter 11675 of 20th ultimo transmitting sketches of the proposed Australian Commonwealth Flag and Flag for the Governor-General of the Commonwealth. I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to acquaint you, for the information of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, that they concur in the designs 'A' and 'C' forwarded by the Governor-General, with the following minor alteration.

The crown on the Governor-General's Flag to have nine pearls on each side of the arch as shown in the attached design.

Further correspondence after the King's approval can be found on this page.
From contributions by David Prothero, Feb 2005


[Governor-General's flag 1909-36] by Martin Grieve, 5 Mar 2005
See detail of the badge

Star changed to one with seven-points. There is a small illustration of the flag and badge on page 363 of the October 1917 NGM.
David Prothero, 22 Feb 1999

The exact sequence of the colours may be a secret of the heralds, as there are 3 different arrangements that we know of. In Alfred Znamierowski's book [zna99], there on page 71, you will see an illustration of this flag which is incorrectly dated as 1902-1936. This should read "1908-1936". The arrangement of colours on the star are different from our illustration. Furthermore, David Prothero informs me that The illustration of the seven-pointed star in "Flag of Stars" by Frank Cayley [cay66] has the exact opposite shading from the star in our image, so that the two adjacent dark triangles are at the bottom of the star.
Martin Grieve, 5 Mar 2005