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The Australian Coat of Arms

See also: Armorial bearings to the Commonwealth of Australia with examples.

The Australian Coat of Arms are the property of the Commonwealth of Australia and are used by the Commonwealth to authenticate documents, to indicate ownership of property, and for other purposes of identification. They may not be used or reproduced by others for other purposes without permission.

The first grant of armorial ensigns, crest and supporters to the Commonwealth of Australia was made in 1908; a new design was granted by Royal Warrant in 1912.

The Commonwealth Arms are commonly but incorrectly referred to as the 'Commonwealth Crest'. Strictly the Crest is the device above shield and hemlet on a coat of arms; in Australia's case it is the seven-pointed gold star on the wreath.

The Australian Coat of Arms consists of:

  • The Badges of the six States of the Commonwealth arranged on a shield in two rows of three columns:

    The shield is enclosed by an ermine border, signifying the federation of the States into the Commonwealth.

  • The Crest of the Arms, consisting of a seven-pointed gold star on a blue and gold wreath. Six points represent each of the States of the Commonwealth, the seventh point represents the Commonwealth Territories.

  • The Supporters of the Coat of Arms, Australian endemic Fauna: the Kangaroo proper to the left and the Emu proper to the right.

  • Usually the Arms are depicted in a acompartment adornded with wattle (Acacia pycnantha) leaves and inflorescence, and a scroll with the word "AUSTRALIA" on it under the Arms. The wattle and the scroll and the rests for the Kangaroo and Emu do not constitute part of the Arms.

    The devices for each of the six States on the Arms are represented on the Blue Ensigns that are the official state flags.

    Prepared by Jim Croft (jrc@anbg.gov.au)
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