|Name||Blue and White|
Cross of Glory
|Use||National flag and state ensign|
|Adopted||12 September 1785|
(236 years ago)
4 March 1931
(official; 90 years ago)
|Design||A white cross on a blue field, with five eight-pointed stars representing the Southern Cross superimposed upon each end of the cross|
The flag of the United Cygnian States, often referred to as the Cygnian flag, is the national flag of the United Cygnian States. It consists of a white cross on a dark blue background, with five eight-pointed stars superimposed upon each end of the cross. The stars represent the Southern Cross, and are eight-pointed to represent the original six States of Cygnia, as well as the Crown and the People. The nicknames Blue and White and Cross of Glory are often used to refer to the flag. The flag was adopted on 12 September 1785 after Cygnia declared its independence from France. Rules defined by the Cygnian Imperial Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act govern the use and display of the national flag.
The British colonisation of Australia began in the mid-17th century, and from then until Cygnian independence these colonies used the British Union Jack. After the Dutch settlement of New Zealand was taken over the British during the Anglo-Dutch War, it also used the Union Jack until Cygnian independence.
Following the French Revolution, the King of the United Kingdom, George III, fled to the Australian colonies and shortly after issued the Proclamation of Federation, unifying the colonies into a new "Kingdom of Cygnia" within the United Kingdom (although the United Kingdom in reality no longer existed, having been replaced by the French First Republic and Commonwealth of Great Britain and Ireland). In the second year of the Cygnian War of Independence, the Cygnian government declared its independence from France, and thereafter designed and adopted a new national flag.
The flag, arms and national anthem of Cygnia were all formally adopted simultaneously when Congress passed the National Flag, Arms and Anthem Act of 1931, although all had already been in common use by the Cygnian government since 1786.
On 30 November 1959, the National Flag Regulations Act was passed to regulate the use and display of the National Flag, performance of the National Anthem and the usage of other symbols. When presenting the motion to the House of Representatives on 11 November, Chancellor Robert Menzies stated: "National flags, crests and anthems express symbolically the hopes and ideals of a people... The possession of a national flag and crest is, for a people, symbolic of self-respect."
When the flag is raised accompanied by the national anthem, tradition and regulations state that all Cygnian citizens and residents present are to face the flag and salute it. According to tradition, an individual appointed beforehand, such as a student during school assemblies or a soldier at military parades, will hold the flag after it is attached to the flagpole and then thrown to the leeward side to allow the flag to fly once the anthem begins.