Flag of Queensland
The state flag of Queensland is a British Blue Ensign defaced with the state badge on a white disc in the fly. The badge is a light blue Maltese Cross with an imperial crown in the centre of the cross. The flag dates from 1870, with minor variations, and the badge was designed by William Hemmant, the Colonial Secretary and Treasurer of Queensland in 1876.
The State Flag was first created in 1870 with the Union Jack upon the royal blue background; however, no Badge was present. In its place was a profile of Queen Victoria on a blue disc surrounded by a white annulus on which the word "Queensland" was inscribed in gold.
The next alteration occurred in 1876 as there were many complaints that the reproduction of Victoria's head was too difficult and a replacement was called for. Many complaints by State Officials were made, including the example below found in the Queensland State Archives.
The Treasury, Queensland Brisbane, 15 March 1876
Sir, Referring to the Circular Despatch of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated the 23rd August last, upon the subject of distinctive badges proposed for the Flags of several Colonies, I have the honour to advise Your Excellency that the difficulty of producing upon bunting a fair representation of the head or bust of Her Majesty has proved so great, and the effect, when produced, so unsatisfactory, as to render it necessary to abandon the idea of using that device for the Queensland Ensign, and I beg therefore to recommend that the accompanying design, within a wreath of laurel, be adopted for the Flags of the Colony in lieu of that formerly advised.
I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient Servant, (signed) N Hemmant
His Excellency WW Cairns, Esq, CMG Brisbane
The Maltese Cross impaled with the Crown was chosen to replace Victoria's head.
The final official alteration occurred in 1901 with the death of Queen Victoria. The change was in relation to the crown impaled upon the Maltese Cross; as Victoria and Edward VII had chosen differing coronation crowns, the crowns upon the Badge also had to change. However over the years the monarchs of England have chosen differing coronation crowns and therefore, the crowns have unofficially kept up with each change.
- Ausflag (1995) 'Queensland', http://www.ausflag.com.au/flags/qld.html, [9 March 2004]
- Queensland State Archives (1876) 'Flag, Badge, Arms and Seal of Queensland', SRS 1043-2-265-84
- Know Britain (2003) 'The History and Meaning of the Union Jack', http://www.know-britain.com/general/union_jack.html, [9 March 2004]