Although the region known as the “Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands” is uninhabited, it is considered part of Australia. Since Australia gained control of the area in 1931, Ashmore and Cartier Islands have only witnessed the most current iteration of the Australian flag; the flag established in 1908.
The national flag connected to the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands is twice as wide as it is tall and features a navy blue background punctuated with a Union Jack in its upper left, a white seven-pointed star beneath the Union Jack, and an arrangement of five white stars occupying the flag’s right half.
The Union Jack has been held as a symbol of the United Kingdom of Great Britain since the dawn of the 19th century and is the amalgamation of the heraldic crosses of England, Ireland and Scotland; the Union Jack is also known as the Union Flag and the Royal Union Flag. This particular symbol has, at one time or another, appeared somewhere on the flags of more than two dozen nations including Canada, Jamaica, India, Nigeria, and the United States of America. Several of these former colonies discarded the Union Jack after either claiming their independence or upon the dissolution of the British Empire.
The singular star located below the Union Jack features a point for each of Australia’s federated nations; though this star initially had six points, a seventh point was added to the flag of 1908 to recognize Papua and all future national territories. This is the flag of Australia as it appears today.
The multiple stars occupying the right half of the flag represent the constellation known as the “Southern Cross;” this particular constellation is easily viewed in the skies of the southern hemisphere. The flag’s stars initially had varying point counts derived from their respective levels of brightness in the night sky; however, this was later standardized to the modern depiction of four seven-pointed stars and a single five-pointed star in February of 1903. One of the designers responsible for the Australian flag wanted the four brightest stars of the Southern Cross to signify the virtues of fortitude, justice, prudence and temperance, as described by writer Dante Alighieri. The five stars of this constellation, and the Australian flag by extension, share their names with the first five letters of the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon.