Australian Flag History
In 1901, a competition was held to design a flag for the newly formed country of Australia. The prize of 200 pounds was equal to about four years’ wages, so the competition attracted 32,823 entries. Five winners with similar designs shared the prize, one of whom was a 14-year-old schoolboy, Ivor William Evans.
The Australian flag features five stars, representing the Southern Cross, which is the brightest constellation of stars seen from the southern half of our planet. A constellation is a group of stars that seem to form a pattern in the night sky, however, they may be millions of kilometres apart.
The Southern Cross also features on the flags of New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Samoa.
A six, larger star, called the Commonwealth Star, has seven points. Six of the points represent the six states that came together to make up the new country of Australia in 1901. The seventh point was added in 1908 to represent the overseas territory of Papua and any future territories. In 1975, Papua became part of the new nation of Papua New Guinea, but Australia kept its seven-pointed star.
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