The current state flag of New South Wales was officially adopted by the government of New South Wales in 1876.
The flag is based on the defaced British Blue Ensign with the state badge located in the fly. The badge is a white disc with the cross of St George. In the centre of the cross is a golden lion passant guardant and on each arm of the cross is an eight-pointed gold star.
This flag was adopted due to criticisms from the British Admiralty that the previous design was too similar to the design of the Victorian flag.
The state badge was designed by the Colonial Architect James Barnet and Captain Francis Hixson, a retired Royal Navy officer. Even though no meaning for the design was given, it is perhaps a simplified version of what was the semi-official arms of New South Wales at the time.