115 Year Old Australian National Treasure Missing

Allan Pidgeon Leads Nation Wide Search

“Following the world’s first ever flag design competition, which gave the new Commonwealth of Australia its flag, there has been no trace of the winning flag that flew so proudly over the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne over 115 years ago.”

Flag Association President Allan Pidgeon has launched a quest to locate the first Australian flag ever flown, which was lost following its unveiling on 3rd September 1901.

Allan Pidgeon's Insight

“We hope that someone in the community will be able to give us a lead in tracking down this historic flag” Mr Pidgeon said.

Australia's First Flag

The flag design competition attracted entries from nearly 1% of the Australian population at the time, and five people tied for the honour of producing Australia’s first flag.

Unveiling of the First Australian National Flag

It was unveiled by the wife of our first Governor General (the Countess of Hopetoun) in a ceremony described in the Melbourne Age: “As Lady Hopetoun entered, a huge Blue Ensign with the prize design of the Southern Cross and a six-pointed star thereon was run up to the top of the flagstaff on the dome and, breaking, streamed out on the heavy south-westerly breeze, a brave and inspiring picture.” (Note that the six-pointed ‘Commonwealth star’ referred to above – representing the founding states – gained an extra point in 1908; with the seventh point representing the territories.)

Mr Pidgeon said that the very first Australian flag was understood to have been given to a museum after it was brought down from the flagpole at the Royal Exhibition Building, but it is a mystery where it ended up. In 1951 the Commonwealth Government wanted to display it for the golden jubilee of federation, but it could not be found anywhere.

Mr Pidgeon Quote's on its Mysterious Disappearance

“We invite anyone who might have an idea about what happened to the flag to contact us on info@australianflag.net.au   “ Mr Pidgeon said.

“We hope that there might be someone whose ancestor ended up with custody of the flag, or who has found a flag that looks significant, so that we can locate the historic first Australian flag and put it on public display”.


Anyone with information about the first Australian flag is invited to contact the Australian Flag Association on info@australianflag.net.au.

Further details at http://www.australianflag.net.au.