Australia’s flag features a blue field with the Union Jack in the top left corner, representing ties to the UK.  A large white seven-pointed star, known as the Commonwealth Star, sits on the right half of the flag. Five smaller white stars arranged in the shape of the Southern Cross constellation lie underneath it.

The Union Jack on the Australian flag represents the country’s historical ties to the United Kingdom. British colonists originally settled Australia. The Commonwealth Star represents Australia’s federal system of government. Each point of the star represents one of Australia’s six states and two territories. The Southern Cross constellation represents Australia’s position in the Southern Hemisphere and is a prominent feature in the night sky.

Australia adopted the current design of its flag on April 14, 1954. This decision followed a national competition to choose a new design.  A teenager named Harold Holt, who later became the Prime Minister of Australia, submitted the winning design.