ON THIS DATE in 1901, Australia unfurled its national flag in Melbourne. Five individuals are credited with submitting the winning flag design, including two teenagers: fourteen-year-old Ivor Evans of Melbourne and eighteen-year-old Leslie John Hawkins of Sydney.
The prime minister’s office had waded through 32,000 flag submissions, including one that depicted a number of Australian animals playing cricket. A five-member panel chose a flag with white stars on a blue background and the Union Jack in the upper-left corner. Evans, Hawkins, Egbert John Nuttall, Annie Dorrington, and William Stevens had submitted similar designs and split the 200 pounds prize money.