NSW State Flag

The NSW State Flag was adopted in 1876. The design includes the Union Jack and the NSW badge. The flag is flown at half-mast and special occasions and as a remembrance sign.


A state flag is a physical representation of a state, as well as its people, history, and ideals. The NSW government has its own flag, which makes it distinctive from other states. The NSW flag was chosen to be the official flag of NSW in 1876 and has been the official banner of the state ever since. The Government of New South Wales encourages the flying of both the NSW and national flags and encourages everyone to learn about their proper use.

History of NSW State Flag

The Colonial Naval Defence Act of 1865 gave British colonies the right to own and operate their own vessels of war, using the Blue Ensign and the colony’s badge as their official flags. The Red Cross of St George was the first badge of the Colony of NSW. The British government authorized its use on 7 August 1869. A revised version of the state badge was issued by the Governor on 15 February 1876.

Flying the flag

The flag is flown at half-mast position to express mourning. It is first raised to the masthead and then lowered to the half-mast position. The flag must be raised again to its full height before being lowered for the current day. When flying at half-mast, the position of the flag is determined by the size of the flag and the length of the flagpole.

A flag should be flown at half-mast only during daytime. The flag must be lowered to a position that is clearly half-mast so that it does not appear to have accidentally fallen away from the masthead.

When displayed in a semi-circle

The Australian national flag should be placed in the center of a semi-circle of the flags. The New South Wales state flag should be positioned on the right-hand side of the Australian national flag.

When displayed in an enclosed circle

While displayed in an enclosed circle, the Australian national flag should be flown on the flagpole exactly opposite the main entrance to the building or arena, and the position of the NSW state flag should be on the right side of the national flag.

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