100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

New Coat Of Arms For Australia

In Australia 6 separate British self-governing colonies – New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia united into a federation to form one nation. They established a federal government that was responsible for matters concerning the whole nation. When the Constitution of Australia came into force in January 1901 the colonies collectively became states of the Commonwealth of Australia.

King Edward VII made the first official grant of a coat of arms to the Commonwealth of Australia in May 1908. The Arms were composed of a simple shield of white and blue enclosing a cross of St George on which there were five six-pointed white stars, around the outside of which were six small escutcheons, i.e. small shields. The shield was supported by a kangaroo and an emu standing on a grassy mound. Above the shield was the crest containing the seven-pointed gold star of Federation on a wreath of white and blue. The motto ‘Advance Australia’ was inscribed at the base.

Australian Coat of Arms – 1908

The absence of specific references to the states in the shield in the 1908 Arms led to a number of alterations approved on the recommendation of the Commonwealth Government by King George V.

On September 19, 1912 the updated Coat of arms of Australia was formally approved. The new design included a shield with six parts each containing a representation of the badge of a state. The positions and poses of the supporting animals were also changed. The colors of the wreath of the crest were altered to gold and blue. The new Arms were accompanied by small branches of wattle, ornamental rests for the supporters, and a scroll with the word ‘Australia’.

Australian Coat of Arms – 1912



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