Look at the Southern Cross flag immediately above and take note of the Green, Gold and Blue.
For a moment, imagine the Green as the land, the Gold as the beach, and the Blue as the water that surrounds our island nation.
Also note that the Blue,on this flag, is the same width between the Gold and the edges of the flag on all sides.
If it helps, think that with the other wider or longer flag variations, the Green and Gold Cross and Stars all remain the same, but the "oceans" -- the Pacific and the Indian oceans -- gets wider.
If you have not already, please read more about why there are flag variations.
Flag Size Variations
Starting with the height of the flag at 24
- The widest flag is 1:2 ratio or 2 x height
- It is twice the width of the height (Light Blue background below)
- 24 x 48
- The shortest flag is 2:3 ratio or 1.5 x height
- It is 1.5 times as wide as it is high (Dark Blue background below)
- 24 x 36 wide
- Flags can be any width between those two widths
- Providing the Cross remains centred
- Blue width is equal on both long sides
- The other popular size of 3:5 or 1.67 x height
- It is one and two thirds as wide as it is high
- 24 x 40 wide
Regardless of the width of the flag, the Green and Gold and Stars cross remain the same size, it is only the width of the Blue field or background that varies.
The Minimum Size is 24 x 36 (2:3)
This allows all sides of the Green and Gold Cross to have a minimum Blue "border" of 1 unit on all four sides. The Blue increases the wider the expanse of Blue field.
- The minimum overall dimensions are 24 x 36 units
- The Gold Border is 1 unit and surrounds the Green Cross.
- The Gold Border is 1 unit from the top and bottom edge on all flags
- On the short flag it is also 1 unit from the edge
- On wider flags this will vary depending upon the width of the flag
- The Green Cross short side is 4 units - the same width and height of a star
- the long green arm is 32 x 4 units
- the short green arm in 20 x 4 units
- For wider flags, simply extend the width of the Blue equally on both sides to the required length
Project: See how the Flag is drawn
- Each star is 4 units. Each star is made up of 8 isosceles triangles with a height of 2 units and a base width of 2 units.
- Each triangle is 45 degrees apart:
- There are the 4 'cardinal points', like a compass: N, S, E, W, or a clock face at 12, 3, 6, 9. These are the horizontal and vertical points
- The other 4 points are referred to as the 4 'diagonal points'.
Project: See how the Stars are drawn
This design also means, regardless of the size:
- The flag is completely symmetrical.
- It can never be hung upside down
- It can never be displayed back to front, as is often seen at sporting events.
- The flag can be hung vertically and also be instantly recognised.
Why is the flag based on 12 not 10. We are metric after all!
Counting in tens is certainly easier than in twelves. However, when drawing or drafing, 12 gives more options
- 12 is divisible in whole numbers by 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12. This makes scaling up or down using whole numbers and for fractions such as halves, thirds, quarters, twelths, even twenty-fourths.
- 10 offers less factors allowing only whole numbers of 1, 2, 5, 10.