This flag was illustrated in the NSW Calendar and Post Office Gazette of the early 1830s on a flag chart signed by Captain John Nicholson, Harbour Master, Sydney. The design was a development inspired by the National Colonial Flag for Australia 1823-24. It features a combination of the Union Jack and the Southern Cross and it became the popular, though unofficial flag of Australia from 1831 to 1901. It was especially significant in the 1880/90s when this design became the symbol of the Federation Movement and was used by identities such as Sir Henry Parkes. It was known as the Australian Federation Flag and was employed throughout the Australian colonies along with the slogan, “One People, One Destiny, One Flag,” to promote the of the federation of the Australian colonies into the Commonwealth of Australia. The attractive design is still flown today as an historical flag of significance.
This flag was often referred to as the Australian Ensign. It was the chief symbol of the political movement, in the 1880s and 1890s, towards the federation of the six Australian colonies. Groups, such as the Australian Natives Association and the Australian Federation League, used this flag to promote national consciousness and the need for federation; in so doing they made this a very popular design.