Christmas Island

Christmas Island

Flag Adopted: No legal status, in use since 14 April 1986
Flag Proportion: 1:2
Use: State and Civil Flag

Christmas Island is an external Australian Territory in the Indian Ocean, 1700 km northwest of Western Australia. It has an area of 135 square kilometres and a population of approximately 1300.

The Christmas Island Assembly held a design competition for an island flag and coat of arms in early 1986. The flag competition attracted 69 entries from residents and non-residents who had lived or worked on the island, and carried a prizemoney of $100.

The winning flag was designed by Tony Couch of Sydney, who worked on Christmas Island for four years as a phosphate mining rigging supervisor, and the design was announced by the Assembly on 14 April 1986.

The blue and green triangles represent the sea surrounding the island and the vegetation covering the island respectively. In the blue triangle is the Southern Cross in the same form as it appears on the Australian flag, representing the island′s links with Australia.

In the green triangle is a representation of the Golden Bosun Bird, which is unique to Christmas Island and has long been one of the island′s most popular symbols.

In the centre of the flag is a gold disc, which has come to represent the island′s phosphate mining history although it was originally included only for aesthetic reasons to provide a background for the green map of Christmas Island.

Although there is no legal impediment to the Christmas Island Assembly formally adopting the above flag as the flag of the Territory, no Act has ever been passed on the island to proclaim the flag nor any Ordinance promulgated to regulate its use. To date, the flag is still unofficial and it is not clear why action has never been taken to formalise it.

References

Australian Flags
Department of Administrative Services, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1995.

Crux Australis
Anthony Burton (Editor), Flag Society of Australia, Melbourne, Australia.
– Australian State Flags (1865-1904): A British Admiralty Legacy", Ralph Kelly, Volume VIII No 4 October 1992.

Flags of the Nations (chart)
Flag Society of Australia, Flag Research Center, and National Australia Bank, Australia, 1992.