The flag of New South Wales (a state within Australia) comprises a Blue Ensign with the state's emblem, a St George's Cross with a gold eight pointed star on the end of each arm and a gold lion passant guardant at its centre, positioned within a white circle on the fly side of the flag. The first flag of New South Wales was adopted in 1867 before being modified in 1870. The 1870 version of the flag was replaced by the current flag in 1876 due to criticism from British Admirals that the previous design was too similar visually to the design of the Victorian state flag. The ratio of the flag of New South Wales is 1:2.
The emblem on the fly side of the New South Wales flag was designed by Colonial Architect James Barnet and retired Royal Navy Officer Captain Francis Hixson. There is no official meaning or reasoning behind the design of the flag.
When flown alongside the Australian national flag and the flags of the other five Australian states, the flag of New South Wales is second in order of precedence (this is due to its position on the Commonwealth Coat of Arms).
The flag of New South Wales (left) flying alongside the Australian national flag atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, New South Wales