Last modified: 2005-04-23 by
Keywords: australasia | olympic | victoria | southern cross | crown |
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by Juan Manuel Gabino
At http://www.australian.olympic.org.au/games/austat.htm, it says:
During two Olympics, in 1908 and 1912, Australia competed with New Zealand under the banner of Australasia.Jean-Loup, 22 Sep 2000
I drew this flag from a T.V. series called "The Olympic Games of the Modern Era: Athens 1896", broadcasted by "Once TV".
The flag corresponds to Australia and/or Australasia. It features the Union Jack and a blue shield -over a white circle- in the fly with the Southern Croos, crowned by the "Tudor" crown.
As far as I know the Tudor crown came into use from 1902 until 1953. Then, the flag may correspond exclusively for "Australasia" (1908-19012). But according to the TV series it was also used 1896-1900. [editor - this was before Australia had its own flag]
Juan Manuel Gabino Villascan, 22 Sep 2000
The flag generally corresponds to the purported colonial badge for the governor of the colony of Victoria in 1877. This badge (with its shield) was proposed by the British Admiralty and reproduced in some early flag publications and cigarrette cards, but was never actually used in Victoria. The Southern Cross surmounted with a Crown applied directly to the field of the blue ensign was the correct method of applying the Victorian colonial badge to the ensign (i.e. as it is today). The original shape of the crown was an "Imperial Crown" and this was changed to a "Tudor Crown" (as drawn in the attachment) in 1901.
I am interested in the source of this claim that this Victorian flag was used by the combined Australia/New Zealand team. It is certainly possible, given the casual attitude to flags in the early years, though this report is the first occasion that I have seen any attempt to describe the flag used for the Olympic athletes. To the extent that I had thought about the matter, I had assumed that the team used the British Union Jack. Is it clear that the documentary is citing a contemporary source, or could it be that the producer has simply used an "old" flag design?
Ralph Kelly, 23 Sep 2000
[This flag] was raised for swimming events (I can remember seeing a photo of one of the medal ceremonies - unfortunately I have no idea where the photo was, but I can distinctly remember that it was the first time I'd ever seen the Australasian flag). Can't understand why it wouldn't have been for the other events at the games, either. Then again, the photo was of the relay team, which had a New Zealander as part of it, so that might be a partial explanation.
James Dignan, 1 Mar 2005