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Flags of the First Fleeters

Red Ensign Red Ensign used
by First Fleet ships

Red Ensign (1707-1801) - Lieutenant James Cook on Endeavour on his first voyage of discovery was the first European to explore the east coast of Australia. He landed at Kurnell on Botany Bay on 29 April 1770. The Endeavour was in the service of the Royal Navy, but as it was not attached to any fleet, it flew the Red Ensign (one of three flags then used by the Royal Navy).

Union Jack Union Jack used by
First Fleeters on land

Union Jack (1606-1801) - Lieutenant James Cook raised the British flag on 22 August 1770 at Possession Island in the Torres Strait, claiming the whole eastern coastline of Australia as British territory. On 26 January 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip established the first European settlement in Australia at Sydney Cove.
The Union Jack was created in 1606. It is sometimes known as the Queen Anne Flag. It combines the English St George Cross with the Scottish St Andrew's Cross. The Irish cross of St Patrick was added in 1801 to become the current Union Jack.

Gov Phillip Landing "The Founding of Australia. By Capt. Arthur Phillip R.N.
Sydney Cove, Jan. 26th 1788" by A. Talmage [1937]
(courtesy: Mitchell Library, Sydney.) Click to enlarge.
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