Flag Quiz

FLAG QUIZ – Test your knowledge about our flag!

(For answers, see below)

You may realise that Australia ’s flag is the only one to fly over an entire continent, but how much else do you know about our chief national symbol? To help celebrate Australia Day on 26 January, see how you score in the following quiz:


(1)   Following federation in 1901 the new Commonwealth Government held an open competition calling for public input into the design of a flag.

Who provided the prize money for the “flag design competition”?

a.       A tobacco company

b.      The Commonwealth Government

c.       A literary journal

d.      All of the above


(2)   The opportunity to design a new flag for the new nation of Australia really captured the public imagination. In proportion with Australia ’s population now, how many entries would be needed to replicate the 1901 response?


a.         50,000

b.            2,000

c.         200,000

d.         20,000


(3)   The designs submitted featured ““every kind of flora and fauna identifiable with Australia – sometimes all at once”. Which of the following were not included on the would-be flags entered in the competition?


a.                   A kangaroo leaping through the constellation of the Southern Cross

b.                  Native animals playing cricket with a winged cricket ball

c.                   A platypus with six babies representing the six Australian states

d.                  A fat kangaroo aiming a gun at the Southern Cross

(4)   Five people tied for the honour of designing our flag, and they shared in the 200 pound prize money (which was a substantial sum in 1901, described as equivalent to the annual wage for an average worker). Match the description with the name of the winner below –


a.                   Ivor Evans

b.                  Annie Dorrington

c.                   Leslie Hawkins

d.                  Egbert Nuttall

e.                   William Stevens


i.                    First Officer with Union Steamship Company of NZ

ii.                  Teenage optician’s apprentice from Leichhardt in NSW

iii.                14 year old schoolboy from Melbourne

iv.                Well-known artist from Perth

v.                  Architect with the Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works



(5)   The Southern Cross featured on the flag is a constellation that can only be seen in the night skies of the Southern hemisphere, and it also gives acknowledgement to aboriginal Australians because it is so prominent in their mythology. What is the name given to each of the stars in the Southern Cross?


(6)   Australian National Flag Day marks the flag’s birthday. It was proclaimed by   the Governor-General in 1996 to ‘commemorate the day in 1901 on which the Australian national flag was first flown’. What day each year do we celebrate ‘Flag Day’?


(7)   Which famous Australian wrote the words:

“And with Australia ’s flag shall fly

A spray of wattle bough

To symbolise our unity –

We’re all Australians now”


a.       Dorothea Mackellar

b.      Sir Robert Menzies

c.       “Banjo” Paterson

d.      Rupert McCall






ANSWER 1 – d. The Commonwealth provided seventy-five pounds, a journal called the “Review of Reviews” provided seventy-five pounds, and the Havelock Tobacco Company gave fifty pounds sponsorship.


ANSWER 2– c. There were 32,823 entries from an estimated population in 1901 of around 3.6 million …ie one per cent of the total population responded to the competition. This is equivalent to 200,000 entries today.


ANSWER 3 – c.


ANSWER 4:   (a) = (iii), (b) = (iv), (c) = (ii), (d) = (v), (e) = (i)


ANSWER 5: The formal name of the Southern Cross is “Crux Australis” and the individual stars are named by the first five letters of the Greek alphabet in order of brightness – (clockwise from the bottom star) Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta & Epsilon.


ANSWER 6: Australian National Flag Day is celebrated on 3 September each year -the winning design for the flag competition was unveiled at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne on 3 September 1901.


ANSWER 7   – c. A.B. “Banjo” Paterson , during World War I.



We’re all proud to be Australians, and it is on days such as Australia Day that we can show it! For more information about our flag (history and protocol etc), go to the “Home Page” for the Australian flag – www.australianflag.org.au .