Eureka Flag

Eureka Flag
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Since it fluttered above a group of rebellious gold miners at the 1854 Eureka Stockade, the flag of the Southern Cross has become a symbol of democracy and defiance.

The flag – and the National Heritage-listed Eureka Stockade Gardens – remain potent symbols of Australia’s only revolution, a battle that was over in less than 30 minutes and claimed 38 lives.

Whether the revolution is interpreted as the birth of Australian democracy or a middle-class tax revolt, it was without doubt a defining moment in Australia’s history.

The flag is on public view at the Eureka Centre in Ballarat, on long-term loan from the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

Did you know:

  • At 30 shillings per month (the equivalent of three dollars per month in Australian decimal currency), the miners licence on the Ballarat goldfields of 1854 was twice the average weekly wage.
  • The battle of the Eureka Stockade on 3 December 1854 lasted less than half an hour, but it claimed 38 lives – 33 miners and five soldiers.
  • The Eureka flag was sewn in silk by three women and first hoisted at Bakery Hill in 1854.
  • Eureka Oath of Allegiance: 'We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties'.

Australia's Heritage: National Treasures with Chris Taylor is also available for purchase from the NFSA Online Shop.