About the Commonwealth flag

The flag of the Commonwealth of Nations is the official flag used by and representing the Commonwealth of Nations. Its current design dates to 2013, a modification of a design adopted in 1976.

The flag consists of the Commonwealth symbol in gold on a blue field. The symbol centres on a globe, representing the global nature of the Commonwealth and the breadth of its membership.

The flag developed from car pennants produced for the first time at the 1973 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, held in Ottawa, Ontario. The initiative for its design is credited to two Canadians: the first Commonwealth Secretary-General, Arnold Smith; and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. It was officially adopted on March 26, 1976.

The original design featured a globe surrounded by 61 radiating, approximately quadrilateral, spears, which form a 'C' for 'Commonwealth'. The number of spears did not represent the number of member states (there have never been 61 members); instead, the large number represented the many ways in which the Commonwealth cooperates around the world.

In 2013, the globe was tilted, and the number of spears reduced to 34. The colourings used in the flag were also slightly modified.