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Governor-General - Australia

Last modified: 2024-05-11 by ian macdonald
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[Governor-General's flag 2023] image by Zoltan Horvath, 10 April 2024

See also:

Governor-General's Flag: 2023

Flag of Governor general is blue with a crowned lion standing on a crown. The crown now used is the Tudor crown.
Zoltan Horvath, 10 April 2024

Whilst the new King Charles crown will no doubt be used for the Governor-General’s flag, it is unlikely to happen until more flags are made, and a large number of flags were made only two or three years ago.
Ralph Kelly, 10 April 2024

I found some pictures on Internet about the Governor General's flag, and it seems that current Governor General still uses a flag with the St. Edward's crown. I note also that the golden scroll has a black line underneath it.

Images of flag: (image archived, taken on 21 March 2024). (image archived) (image archived, taken on February 28, 2024)
Zoltan Horvath, 15 April 2024


[Governor General's Flag] image by Željko Heimer, 15 June 2002 and Zoltan Horvath, 15 April 2024

Standard blue flag with Royal Crest surmounting a scroll. Note Canada and the Union of South Africa adopted this style of Governor-General's flag in 1931.
David Prothero, 22 February 1999

At the official website of the Governor-General of Australia I found a page about this flag:

Governor-General's Flag

In Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No. 56 of 16 July 1936 it was notified that the Governor-General had adopted a personal flag for use in Australia.

The flag, which is in the proportion of two to one, has a royal blue background on which is the Royal Crest in gold (on a St Edward's Crown a lion statant guardant also crowned) with the words "Commonwealth of Australia" in dark blue letters on a gold scroll below the Crest.

The Governor-General's flag is flown continuously when His Excellency is in residence. It is also flown on vehicles in which the Governor-General is travelling.

Reprinted from The Australian National Flag published by the Department of Administrative Services, Canberra 1982.

Mark Sensen, 14 June 2002

Governor-General's Flag: 1936-1953

[Governor-General's flag 1936-53] image by Martin Grieve, 12 April 2013

The Governor-General's Flag was notified on the front page of the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No 56 of 16 July 1936 (page 1297 including indicative drawing) with the following words;-

'His Excellency the Governor-General desires it to be notified for general information that, in 1930, His late Majesty King George V, was pleased to approve of a special flag for use by the Governor-General in each Dominion. His Excellency has received advice of the Commonwealth Government's approval to the adoption of this special flag as the flag of the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, thus making for uniformity of custom throughout His Majesty's Dominions.

The description of the flag of the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is as follows:-
The flag, the length of which is twice the breadth at the head, consists of a Royal blue ground, on which is the Royal Crest in gold with the words “Commonwealth of Australia” in blue letters on a gold scroll below the Crest.

A design of the flag is subjoined.

By His Excellency's Command,

Captain, Royal Australian Navy,
Military and Official Secretary to the Governor-General,
Government House, Canberra, 23rd June 1936.'

(Leighton Seymour Bracegirdle (1881-1970) served in this capacity from 1931 to 1947 under four Governors-General. In 1945 he retired from the Navy with the rank of Rear Admiral and was knighted in 1947).

Jeff Thomson, 25 October 2021


[Governor-General's flag 1909-36] image by Martin Grieve, 5 March 2005
See detail of the badge

Star changed to one with seven-points. There is a small illustration of the flag and badge on page 363 of the October 1917 NGM.
David Prothero, 22 February 1999

The exact sequence of the colours may be a secret of the heralds, as there are 3 different arrangements that we know of. In Alfred Znamierowski's book [zna99], there on page 71, you will see an illustration of this flag which is incorrectly dated as 1902-1936. This should read "1908-1936". The arrangement of colours on the star are different from our illustration. Furthermore, David Prothero informs me that The illustration of the seven-pointed star in "Flag of Stars" by Frank Cayley [cay66] has the exact opposite shading from the star in our image, so that the two adjacent dark triangles are at the bottom of the star.
Martin Grieve, 5 March 2005


[Governor-General's flag 1902-09] image by Martin Grieve, 10 March 2005
See detail of the badge

The flag of the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia was introduced in 1902 and modified in 1909.

On a Union Flag, standard white background disc, with no surrounding garland; a six-pointed gold star surmounted by the Royal Crown, the star and Crown within a gold circlet and an inner surround of ears of corn (wheat). The star is divided by lines from the centre to the points and indents (is this correctly called gyronny?), with the left half of the resulting diamond shapes, a darker shade than the right half.
David Prothero, 22 February 1999

I thought that the shading on the star was symmetrical, but a drawing made for Amendment Number 12 to the 1889 edition of the Admiralty Flag Book shows that the shading was as in the images above.
[Source: National Archives(PRO) ADM 116/1063B]
David Prothero, 10 March 2005

When approval was sought from London for the new Australian national flag on 18 Feb 1902 [see here], the Governor-General included another design, saying:

2. I have also to enclose a design, marked "C". of the Flag which appears to me to be suitable for adoption as The Flag for The Governor-General of The Commonwealth of Australia. The Naval Commander-in-Chief on the Australian Station has also expressed his approval of this design. I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient, humble servant &c.
This reached London on the 4th March. In response, a Colonial Office Minute said:
As regards Design "C", which is the design for the Flag of the Governor General, it conforms to the King's Regulation 77 c (assuming the Six-point Star be taken as the Commonwealth Badge) except as regards the crown. If the crown is to form part of the Badge it should so appear on the Commonwealth Flag. If not part of the Badge it should be omitted. See last part of Admiralty letter of 28th July 1875 enclosed in the Circular of 23rd August 1875. The Admiral has expressed concurrence. Possibly he looked upon the Crown as part of the Badge.
[It was usual to have the same badge on the Blue Ensign and on the Flag of the Governor. The Admiralty letter of 28th July 1875 had considered the flags of New Zealand and New South Wales, and suggested discontinuing the badge on the New Zealand Blue Ensign in favour of that on the Flag of the Governor, and removing the crown from the New South Wales badge.]

A reply from the Admiralty on 25 June said:

With reference to your letter 11675 of 20th ultimo transmitting sketches of the proposed Australian Commonwealth Flag and Flag for the Governor-General of the Commonwealth. I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to acquaint you, for the information of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, that they concur in the designs 'A' and 'C' forwarded by the Governor-General, with the following minor alteration.

The crown on the Governor-General's Flag to have nine pearls on each side of the arch as shown in the attached design.

Further correspondence after the King's approval can be found on this page.
From contributions by David Prothero, February 2005