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Vessels sailing under the Australia country flag are required to have on board this flag as part of flag state requirements that derive from maritime regulations in the International Code of Signals and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. These codes are published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as an ongoing effort to reinforce maritime safety procedures and communications to the international maritime community. Fleet management companies and ship owners are responsible to ensure that each vessel in their respective fleets have the appropriate flag signage onboard to be in compliance. This flag is used to identify the flag state a vessel is sailing under and to communicate with other vessels under the provisions of the International Code of Signals.
The flag of Australia consists of three main elements. The Union Jack is in the upper quadrant or first quarter of the flag, heralding Australia's historical ties with Great Britain. The Union Jack is red and white intersecting and overlayed vertical and diagonal crosses placed on a blue background. The second element is The Southern Cross. It consists of five stars in a constellation pattern, and places Australia geographically in its own continent. The Commonwealth Star or Star of Federation has seven points to denote the 6 states and combined territories of the Commonwealth of Australia.
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