The present day Australian Flag was created after federation (Australian States formed the Commonwealth of Australian on 1st January, 1901). The Australian flag was selected by way of a public competition (with over 30 000 entries!). It is based on the Blue Ensign of the United Kingdom, is twice as long as it is wide, and consists of a dark blue field divided into four quadrants which consist of three main elements:
1) The Union Jack (also know as the Canton), denoting Australia’s historical links with Great Britain.
2) The Southern Cross which consists of five stars in a more or less kite-like pattern – Alpha Crucis (7-point), Beta Crucis (7-point), Gamma Crucis (7-point), Delta Crucis (7-point) and the smaller Epsilon Crucis (5-point). The Southern Cross constellation is a significant navigational feature of the southern hemisphere.
3) The Commonwealth Star or Star of Federation, central in the lower hoist, has seven points to denote the six states and the combined territories of the Commonwealth.