Difference Between Australian and New Zealand Flag

Main Difference – Australian vs New Zealand Flag

Both Australian and New Zealand Flags have a blue background, and the symbols found in them are also very similar. Both contain the Union Jack (flag of the United Kingdom) at the top left corner to symbolize their historical relation to the British. The star design, which is also found  on the right side in both flags, is a representation of the southern star constellation, which only appears at the Southern hemisphere. However, Australian flag has more stars than the New Zealand flag, and their colors are also different.  Also, in the Australian flag, just below the Union Jack, you can see a star with seven points, called the commonwealth star, which is not there in the New Zealand flag. This is the main difference between Australian and New Zealand Flag.Difference Between Australian and New Zealand Flag -infographic

Australian Flag

Australian flag is a defaced Blue Ensign: a blue field with the Union Jack in the top left corner and a large white seven-pointed star, which is also known as the Commonwealth Star, below the Union Jack. The Union Jack flag represents Australia’s historical link to the UK and its loyalty to the British Empire.

The flag also contains a representation of the Southern Cross constellation on the right-hand side. This constellation is made up of five white stars: four, large, seven-pointed stars and one small five-pointed star. This constellation, which only appears in the southern hemisphere, symbolizes Australia’s geographical position. It is also said that one of the flag’s designers, Ivor Evans, intended the four larger stars to represent the four moral virtues – justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude.

This flag was selected and first flown in 1901, but at this time, the commonwealth star only had six points, representing the federating colonies. A seventh point was added to the flag in 1908 to symbolize the Papua and any future territories. Since Papua is no longer under the control of Australia, the seven points of the commonwealth star in the current flag represents the six states and territories.

Main Difference - Australian vs New Zealand Flag

New Zealand Flag

New Zealand flag is a defaced Blue Ensign with the Union Flag in the top left corner, and four red stars with white borders to the right. This pattern of stars represents the Southern Cross constellation. This constellation symbolizes New Zealand’s geographical position in the Pacific Ocean whereas the Union Jack is a representation of New Zealand’s bond with the Great Britain.

The current flag of New Zealand was designed and adopted for use on Colonial ships in 1869. It was then quickly adopted as the national flag and given statutory recognition in 1902.

However, there have been several debates about changing the flag of New Zealand over the past few decades. In 2016, the government held a two-phase referendum on this issue, and the majority of the country voted against changing the flag.

Difference Between Australian and New Zealand Flag

Difference Between Australian and New Zealand Flag

Commonwealth Star

Australian Flag has a Commonwealth Star.

New Zealand Flag doesn’t have a Commonwealth Star.

Number of Stars

Australian Flag has six stars.

New Zealand Flag has four stars.

Color of the Stars

Australian Flag has white stars.

New Zealand Flag has red stars with white borders.

Southern Cross

Australian Flag’s representation of the Southern cross has four large stars and one small star.

New Zealand Flag‘s representation of the Southern cross has four stars.

Points in the Stars

Australian Flag has seven-pointed stars. (excluding the small star).

New Zealand Flag has five-pointed stars.

Image Courtesy:

“Flag of Australia” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia 

“Flag of New Zealand” By Zscout370, Hugh Jass and many others – (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia 

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.