Arms of Australia

The current design of the Australian Coat of Arms was granted by Royal Warrant by King George V n 19 September 1912, to be borne and used 'upon Seals, Shields, Banners, or otherwise according to the Laws of Arms'. The Warrant describes the Arms as:

'Quarterly of six, the first quarter Argent a Cross Gules charged with a Lion passant guardant between on each limb a Mullet of eight points Or; the second Azure file Mullets, one of eight, two of seven, one of six and one of five points of the first (representing the Constellation of the Southern Cross) ensigned with an Imperial Crown proper; the third of the first a Maltese Cross of the fourth, surmounted by a like Imperial Crown; the forth of the third, on a Perch wreathed Vert and Gules an Australian Piping Shrike displayed also proper; the fifth also Or a Swan naiant to the sinister Sable; the last of the first, a Lion passant of the second, the whole within a Bordure Ermine'; for the Crest on a Wreath Or and Azure 'A Seven pointed Star Or', and for Supporters 'dexter A Kangaroo, sinister An Emu, both proper'.

The branches of wattle used as an ornamental accessory to the shield are not part of the armorial ensigns and supporters and are therfore not mentione dinthe Royal Warrant, nor are the rests for the kangaroo and the emu and other ornamentations. However, it has been the convention to ornament the Arms with sprays sof wattle and the word 'AUSTRALIA' (sometimes on a scroll).

Extracted from the Style manual for authors, editors and printers, 4th edition, 1992, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

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François Velde

Last modified: Oct 15, 1997