National Colours

Significance

Beijing Olympic Games. Rowing. Men's Four silver medallists Francis Hegarty, Cameron McKenzie-McHarg, Matt Ryan and James Marburg
                    after the medal ceremony.

Beijing Olympic Games. Rowing. Men's Four silver medallists Francis Hegarty, Cameron McKenzie-McHarg, Matt Ryan and James Marburg after the medal ceremony.

Photo: Brett Costello Newspix.

The national colours, green and gold, hold a treasured place in the Australian imagination.

Long associated with Australian sporting achievements, the national colours have strong environmental connections. Gold conjures images of Australia’s beaches, mineral wealth, grain harvests and the fleece of Australian wool. Green evokes the forests, eucalyptus trees and pastures of the Australian landscape.

Green and gold are also the colours of Australia’s national floral emblem – the golden wattle.

History

Since the late 1800s, green and gold have been popularly embraced as Australia’s national sporting colours.

In 1984, green and gold were formally recognised as the national colours with widespread community support.

Prior to 1984, three colour combinations unofficially represented Australia:

  • red, white and blue
  • blue and gold
  • green and gold

Red, white and blue form the colours of the Australian flag and the first version of the Commonwealth Coat Of Arms.

Blue and gold have heraldic significance as the colour of the wreath in the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, which was granted by royal warrant in 1912.

In 1975 blue and gold were selected as the colours of the ribbon of the Order of Australia.

Proclamation

The then Governor-General, the Rt Hon Sir Ninian M Stephen KG AK GCMG GCVO KBE, proclaimed green and gold the national colours on 19 April 1984.

Use of national colours

Australians are unrestricted in their use of the national colours. Green and gold may be used in any design or arrangement of colour, emphasising the green or gold. To use them correctly, the two colours are placed together, unbroken by another colour.

The colour references are:

  • Green: PANTONE®348C
  • Gold: PANTONE®116C

Fact sheet

This information is also available as a print fact sheet.

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Last Updated: 1 May, 2009