1901 Competition – Review of Reviews

Flag Competition Documents

Review of Reviews

October, 1900
Designs for a Federal Flag

A competitions open to all Australasia.
The Premiers of the Federating Colonies to be Judges
A prize of £50 to be offered.

The coming Australian Commonwealth will need a Flag, and many efforts are already being, made to evolve a graceful characteristic, and effective national symbol a flag that shall at once express kinship with the Empire and yet be characteristic of the new and great political entity which has come into existence.

A Melbourne journal, the “Evening Herald” offered a prize of £25 for the best design for a Federal Flag, and we reproduce on our Cover the Flag which won that prize.

But the competition which evolved this Flag was purely local, and the competition was fettered by the conditions that the Federal Flag must include both the Union Jack and the Southern Cross. A flag, perhaps, which omitted these symbols might have small chances of success; yet it seems unwise to fetter the competition with any such absolute limitations.

The proprietors of the Australasian “Review of Reviews” offer a prize of £50 for the best design for a Federal Flag; the competition to be open to the whole of Australasia.

The following gentlemen have very courteously consented to act as judges:

  • Sir William Lyne, Premier of New South Wales
  • Hon. Alan McLean, Premier of Victoria
  • Hon. F. W. Holder, Premier of South Australia
  • Hon. R. O. B. T. Philp, Premier of Queensland
  • Hon. W.H. Lewis, Premier of Tasmania
  • Right Hon. Sir John Forrest, K. C. M. Q., Premier of West Australia

The Premiers of the six federating colonies will of course constitute a jury of unrivalled impressiveness and authority, and the Flag they choose will have an excellent chance of fluttering high for generations to come as the symbol of the’ Australian Commonwealth.

Conditions of Competition

The following are the conditions of the competition:

Each competitor must forward two coloured sketches of his design – one for merchant service and one for naval or official use not less that 6 inches by 3 inches in size.

All designs must be endorsed on the cover “Commonwealth Flag” and addressed to the Business Manager of the “Review of Reviews” 167-169 Queen Street, Melbourne.

Each design must bear a motto or nom de plume, and must be accompanied by a sealed envelope, bearing on its face the motto or nom de plume with which the design is signed, and enclosing the name and address of designer.

Designs must be sent in not later than February 1, 1901, and the award will if possible be published in the February number of the “Review of Reviews.”

The award of the judges, or of a majority of them, will be final and no appeal against it will be permitted. The prize of £50 will not be awarded to any to any design which in the opinion of the judges, or of a majority them, is not superior to the successful design of the Melbourne competition reproduced on our cover. But a consolation prize of £10 will, in that event, be paid to the designer of the Flag judged to be the best amongst those sent in.

The right to publish any design submitted, whether it takes a prize or not, is specially retained by the proprietors of the “Review of Reviews.”

The appeal here made is to the artistic imagination, and designing skills of the seven colonies. It ought to have the effect of giving birth to a Flag which will hold a proud and long enduring place amongst the Flags of the civilized world.

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