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Listed below are the main books that have been published in Australia on the subject of flags. All but three books are out of print, but copies of most of the other books are likely to be available at local libraries.

A small selection of books published internationally are also listed. While there are several flagbooks currently available in Australian bookstores, most are little more than a collection of illustrations of national flags with simplistic text written by writers who are not vexillologists, so these have not been included below.

Australian Bibliography    

Flag and Nation: Australians and Their National Flag Since 1901

Elizabeth Kwan

UNSW Press, Sydney, NSW

Published 2006



Australian Flags

Australian Government: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2023 - 4th Edition. First published 1995 with different cover.




Australian Symbolss

Australian Government: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2023 - 2nd Edition. First published 2000 with different cover.




Australia's National Symbolss

Australian Government: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2023 - 1st Edition. First published 2000 with different cover.  10 individual posters for each symbol.


ON-LINE PDFs of each poster are AVAILABLE AT www.pmc.gov.au


Vexillogistics: An Illustrated and Practical Guide to Flag Design

Tony Burton

published by Tony Burton in 2015. Available for purchase through Flags Australia (click here for link).


Profusely illustrated book on flag designing. It is a practical guide that explains the unique aspects of flag design with detailed information on design elements and the pageantry and significance of flags. The focus is on national flags, but it is also relevant to design concepts for Australia and to other categories of flags.


Murphy's Signals Hobart Town

Mark L Risby

Forty South Publishing, Lindisfarne, Tas.

Published 2013

Richly illustrated large format hardback showing the hand-drawn flag charts created by Edward Murphy in the 1840s and 1850s. These charts are the source for the Van Diemen's Land Ensign and the book shows numerous Hobart shipping house flags.


Australian Flags and Emblems

Karen Tayleur

Ralph Kelly (flag illustrations)

Black Dog Books (Walker Books), Newtown, NSW

published 2013

[Note: this is a Juvenile Non-Fiction Book]

An excellent resource for students with fresh text and large clear illustrations of Australian, state and territory flags. There are clever explanations of the coats of arms and good histories of the states.


Jill Bruce book

Flags and Emblems of Australia

Jill B Bruce

Jan Wade (Illustrator)

Five Senses Education, Seven Hills, NSW

Revised Edition 2013 [first edition 1991]

[Note: this is a Juvenile Non-Fiction Book]


Samone Bos

Flags and Coats of Arms

Samone Bos

Macmillan Education Australia, South Yarra,Vic. Published 2011

[Note: this is a Juvenile Non-Fiction Book]

Part of the series Symbols of Australia, the book is expensive and the content is flawed. The text is simplistic and the flag drawings are clip art, with errors in the designs of the flags ACT, NSW, Qld, and WA, whilst those for the other states are poorly drawn.


The Night We Made the Flag: a Eureka story

Carole Wilkinson.

Sebastian Ciaffaglione (Illustrator)

Black Dog Books, Fitzroy, Vic

Published 2008, 2nd edition 2013

[Note: this is a Juvenile Fiction Book]


The Australian Flag: The First 100 Years

Geoff Hocking

The Five Mile Press, Noble Park Victoria

published 2002


The Eureka Flag: Our Starry Banner

Dorothy Wickham, Clare Gervasoni, and Val D'Angri

Ballarat Heritage Services, Ballarat,

published 2000


The Australian Flag: Colonial Relic or Contemporary Icon?

Carol A Foley

The Federation Press, Leichhardt NSW,

published 1996


Flags of the Nations

Ralph Bartlett

National Australia Bank, Melbourne, last published1994 [free folded poster, various editions over a number of prior years][illustrations only, except for some text on scouting]


The Eureka Flag

Len Fox

Len Fox, Potts Point NSW,

published 1992





Flags of Australia

John C Vaughan

Woolworths Ltd, Sydney,

Published 1984   [poster reprinted on several occasions with some revisions, also issued as a booklet in 1987]


The Flag Book: Australia

Arthur H Smout

Lions Club of Brisbane, Hamilton Central Queensland, 1982 - 3rd edition. First published 1968.

[Also published as Our Flag...and How to Fly It, K G Murray Publishing, 1970 - the same book with different cover]


Cayley 2  

Beneath the Southern Cross

Frank Cayley

AH & AW Reed Pty Ltd, Terry Hills NSW

published 1980

[This is a re-issue of Flag of Stars - same text but colour images moved to centre section]


Unfurled: Australia's Flag

G H Swinburne

Sirius Publication, Melbourne Published 1969

[This book is NOT recommended - it is mostly a patriotic history of the British Empire and Australia with negligible vexillological information]

Cayley 1  

Flag of Stars

Frank Cayley

Rigby Ltd, Adelaide

Published 1966

[The first book published about Australian flags]

International Bibliography



The Flag Book

Moira Butterfield

Published by Lonely Planet Kids, Carlton, VIC.

Published 2019

[Highly recommended.  Whilst targeted to children 9 - 12 years old, it is suitable for people of all ages.  It provides a review of the flags of all national flags (and some states) and provides info on each country and its flag. There are numerous illustrations, with large flag drawings and photos of the flag flying or other scenes.  Some pages are about different aspects of flags, such as terminology, sports flags, and flag tales.  Large page format 230 x 305 mm.]

flags commonwealth

Flags of the Commonwealth

A. Wyn Beasley

Published by Tross Publishing, Wellington, NZ

Published 2016

[A comprehensive review of the flags of the countries and territories within the Commonwealth. It goes beyond the current flags by providing each country's flag history. There are numerous illustrations, though most are smaller than would be preferred.]

Parke Book

Fly the World's Flags

Michael M A Parke

Third edition self published by Michael Parke, NZ,

Published 2018

(not currently available)

[A comprehensive listing of days when flags can be flown, where the day has significance in the country. A unique list, including images of flags and coats of arms]

New Wave

New Wave Facts About Flags

Black Dog Publishing (no author identified)

Black Dog Publishing Ltd, London

Published 2011

[a creative book aimed at young adults, with lots of interesting flag material]


The South African Flag Book

Andreis P Burgers

Protea Book House, Pretoria

Published 2008

[Winner of the Vexillon for 2009]


Pictorial Book of Maritime Flags of the World

Nozomi Kariyasu

Sairyusha Publishing, Tokyo

Published 2008

[Text is in Japanese, with English captions added. A very comprehensive array of maritime flags that are rarely published.]

Dorling Kindersley

Complete Flags of the World

Dorling Kindersley (no author identified)

Dorling Kindersley, London

6th edition published 2014

[Originally published in 1997 as the Ultimate Pocket Flags of the World]


The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord & Conflict

Howard M Madaus & Whitney Smith

VZ Publications, Santa Cruz, California

Published 2006

[Winner of the Vexillon for 2007]


British Flags and Emblems

Graham Bartram

Flag Institute, York England and Tuckwell Press, East Linton Scotland

Published 2004


I Stand For Canada

Rick Archbold

Macfarlane Walter & Ross, Toronto

Published 2002


Pavillons Nationaux et Marques Distinctives

Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine [SHOM]

SHOM, Brest France

Published 2000 (updates to 2010).

New paperback edition 2019.

[Whilst not identified in the publication, the editor was Armand du Prayat] [This is the 8th edition of a series of French official flag books first published in 1858]

[Winner of the Vexillon for 2001]


The World Encyclopedia of Flags

Alfred Znamierowski

Lorenz Books, London

Published 1999

[Several abridged versions of this book have been published with various titles]

[Winner of the Vexillon for 2003]

[New edition in 2020 - same content, but some small changes]

Native Peoples

Flags of the Native Peoples of the United States

Donald T Healy

North American Vexillological Association, Volumes 3/4 of Raven: A Journal of Vexillology, Trenton New Jersey

Published 1997

[Winner of the Vexillon for 1999]

Crampton 2

The World of Flags: A Pictorial History

William Crampton

Studio Editions, London

Published 1990

[one of several books by William Crampton, winner of the Vexillon for 1991]

Crampton 1

The Complete Guide to Flags

William Crampton

Kingfisher Books, London

Published 1989


Flags at Sea

Timothy Wilson

Her Majesty's Stationery Office, for the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

First published 1986. Reissued in 1997 by Chatham Publishing, with different cover


Flags of the World

E M C Barraclough and William Crampton (editors)

Frederick Warne, London

Published 1981

[This was the last edition of a series of books with the same title, first published by Frederick Warne in 1897]

Whitney Smith

Flags Through the Ages and Across the World

Whitney Smith

McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York

Published 1975

[An abridged edition was published in 1980 as Flags and Arms Across the World]






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Material Copyright to the Flag Society of Australia Inc and Pennant Advisory Services Pty Limited. Text and illustrations by Ralph Kelly. Web Design by Elizabeth Kelly of ELK Prints.