Flag Adopted: 1 February 1870
Flag Proportion: 1:2
Use: State Ensign
Although Melbourne and the surrounding region was established as the "Port Phillip District" in the 1830s, the region now known as Victoria was in fact formally part of New South Wales. Victoria did not become a separate colony until 1 July 1851, whereupon it became Australia′s fifth colony.
Victoria was, though, the first Australian colony to acquire a warship, and thus the need arose under the Colonial Naval Defence Act of 1865 for such vessels to fly a British Ensign defaced with a distinguishing badge.
The design sent to the Colonial Office and approved by the British Admiralty was possibly inspired by the 1851 flag of the Anti-Transportation League, a group who fought to end the transportation of convicts from England to Australia.
Shown above, this flag was a blue ensign defaced with a Southern Cross, whose stars ranged from five to eight points, with one point of each star pointing to the bottom of the flag.
Anthony Burton (Editor), Flag Society of Australia, Melbourne, Australia.
– Australian State Flags (1865-1904): A British Admiralty Legacy", Ralph Kelly, Volume VIII No 4 October 1992.
Flags of Australia (chart)
John C Vaughan, Standard Publishing House, Sydney, 1983.
Flags of the Nations (chart)
Flag Society of Australia, Flag Research Center, and National Australia Bank, Australia, 1992.