Tasmania Flag on Our Flagpole


The flag consists of a defaced British Blue Ensign with the state badge located in the fly. The badge is a white disk with a red lion passant in the centre of the disk. There is no official record of how the lion came to be included on the flag. Where this design originated from is unknown, but it is assumed that the red lion is a link with England. This flag has remained almost unchanged since 1875, with only a slight change of the style of the lion when the flag was officially adopted by the government in 1975.

Flag of Tasmania
Flag of Tasmania


Following the establishment of permanent British sovereign possession of the lands of Tasmania. Tasmania was granted responsible self-government in 1856, but the colony did not receive its own flag until Queen Victoria had first proposed on 7 August 1869, that the colony of Tasmania (and the other Australian colonies) should adopt a Union flag defaced in the centre with the State Badge. Prior to the official adoption of a local flag, an unofficial merchant ensign was occasionally used.

The first local flag of Tasmania was adopted by proclamation of Tasmanian colonial Governor Sir Frederick Weld on 9 November 1875. The flag had a white cross on a blue field, in the canton was the Union Flag, and in the fly was five five-pointed stars of the Southern Cross. The British Blue Ensign and Red Ensign (for use respectively by government vessels and by those privately owned) were to have a white cross added. At the fly end of each flag a Southern Cross was to be formed of white stars added above and below the horizontal arm of the cross.

Flag of Tasmania 1875
Flag of Tasmania 1875

Two weeks later, on 23 November, those flags were officially abandoned because Henry Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon, the Secretary of State for the Colonies in London made it clear that only a single badge could be placed at the fly end of the ensign, as set out by rule of the British Admiralty.

A year later the Tasmanian government decided, with the British Admiralty’s approval, that the badge for the colony would be a red lion on a white disk. Originally the lion was to be gold in colour, above a golden torse, which the new flag omitted in favor of a more traditional red.

On 3 December 1975, a government proclamation by Governor Sir Stanley Burbury, and endorsed by Premier Bill Neilson established it as the official Tasmanian flag, although it had technically already been ‘officially’ adopted when it was gazetted in 1876. Since that time it has been acceptable for private citizens to use the flag, although it is uncommon to see them doing so.

Scroll to Top