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ACM Home arrow Keep Our Flag! arrow The Eureka Myth

The Eureka Myth Print E-mail
Written by John Christian Vaughan   
Friday, 04 March 2011
The development of a ‘national flag’ was related to the victory at Trafalgar as Royal Navy’s White Ensign used exclusively at the sea battle was admired as the banner of the World’s supreme force that protected the ‘crimson threat’ of British Subjects in the vast and growing Empire.

 By the 1820s the constellation of stars, the Southern Cross was acknowledged as a patriotic symbol by many of the new settlers and was then woven into many Aboriginal legends.

Image


A local patriot, Captain John Bingle and his friend, Captain John Nicholson RN, Harbour Master of Sydney designed the first flag of ‘stars and crosses’ in 1823/24 known as the Australian National Colonial Flag.

 It was said to have been officially adopted by the then Governor of New South Wales.


The attractive design featured the naval White Ensign emblazoned with four stars of the Southern Cross. Australia had acquired a flag symbol that was to inspire hearts and minds and eventually lead to a unique public competition that resulted in our Australian National Flag in 1901.



...Australian Federation Flag...

 

Image



 

By 1831 a variant of first Southern Cross flag had been drawn up by Captain Nicholson. It was illustrated in the 1832 NSW Calendar and Post Office Gazette.

The new Australian flag , known initially as the New South Wales Ensign and later the Australian Federation Flag was based on a White Ensign pattern with a central blue cross where five, eight pointed stars dominated the design.

This Southern Cross flag, popular though unofficial, was honoured as the ‘national’ flag of Australia for some seventy years.

 It was runner-up in the competition for the Australian National Flag in 1901 and strongly influenced other designs including the Australasian League flag 1851, Murray River 1853 and Eureka Stockade flag, 1854.




...Eureka myth...



It is a myth that the Eureka flag flown at the stockade rebellion in 1854 was the first Southern Cross emblem.

The acknowledged designer, Henry Ross of Toronto, Canada, would have been influenced by the popularity of already existing starry flags and the 1831 design had its colours reversed to a blue field and white cross and the Union Jack deleted.

 The Eureka flag was lost to general public imagination until after WW11 when, for mainly political reasons it was re-discovered and promoted as a ‘rebel’ symbol.
In the latter decades of the 1800s notable patriots arose such as Sir Henry Parkes who focused attention on the benefits of Australian Federation.

 Campaigning succeeded in the creation of a new nation, the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901 and Australians democratically chose, from 32,823 entries the Australian National Flag on 3 September 1901 now proudly celebrated annually as Australian National Flag Day.

The development of a ‘national flag’ was related to the victory at Trafalgar as Royal Navy’s White Ensign used exclusively at the sea battle was admired as the banner of the World’s supreme force that protected the ‘crimson threat’ of British Subjects in the vast and growing Empire.

 By the 1820s the constellation of stars, the Southern Cross was acknowledged as a patriotic symbol by many of the new settlers and was then woven into many Aboriginal legends.


A local patriot, Captain John Bingle and his friend, Captain John Nicholson RN, Harbour Master of Sydney designed the first flag of ‘stars and crosses’ in 1823/24 known as the Australian National Colonial Flag.

 It was said to have been officially adopted by the then Governor of New South Wales.


The attractive design featured the naval White Ensign emblazoned with four stars of the Southern Cross. Australia had acquired a flag symbol that was to inspire hearts and minds and eventually lead to a unique public competition that resulted in our Australian National Flag in 1901.



...Australian Federation Flag...

 


By 1831 a variant of first Southern Cross flag had been drawn up by Captain Nicholson. It was illustrated in the 1832 NSW Calendar and Post Office Gazette.

The new Australian flag , known initially as the New South Wales Ensign and later the Australian Federation Flag was based on a White Ensign pattern with a central blue cross where five, eight pointed stars dominated the design.

This Southern Cross flag, popular though unofficial, was honoured as the ‘national’ flag of Australia for some seventy years.

 It was runner-up in the competition for the Australian National Flag in 1901 and strongly influenced other designs including the Australasian League flag 1851, Murray River 1853 and Eureka Stockade flag, 1854.



...Eureka myth...



It is a myth that the Eureka flag flown at the stockade rebellion in 1854 was the first Southern Crossemblem.

The acknowledged designer, Henry Ross of Toronto, Canada, would have been influenced by the popularity of already existing starry flags and the 1831 design had its colours reversed to a blue field and white cross and the Union Jack deleted.

 The Eureka flag was lost to general public imagination until after WW11 when, for mainly political reasons it was re-discovered and promoted as a ‘rebel’ symbol.

...



In the latter decades of the 1800s notable patriots arose such as Sir Henry Parkes who focused attention on the benefits of Australian Federation.
 Campaigning succeeded in the creation of a new nation, the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901 and Australians democratically chose, from 32,823 entries the Australian National Flag on 3 September 1901 now proudly celebrated annually as Australian National Flag Day.


 

 
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