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Victoria Police (Australia)

Last modified: 2016-02-27 by ian macdonald
Keywords: victoria | police | victoria police | star: faceted | stars: 5 (white) | cross (blue on red f. white) |
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[Flag of Victoria Police]
image by Herman FMY using template by Martin Grieve, and badge from the Police Life periodical, 26 Feb 2007

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From photos of the National Police Memorial ceremony, the flag of Victoria Police is also based on the [British] blue ensign with the Victoria police badge in the fly. The paraded flag does not seem to differ from the flag for hoisting, with the exception of the additional silver fringes, cords, and tassel.
Herman FMY, 25 February 2007

The Victoria Police badge is described at their website. It includes a white faceted five pointed star point-down on a wreath which is taller than it is wide, surmounted by a (St Edward's?) crown. The star represents the willingness of members to go in any direction to perform their duties, the wreath bravery and the crown royal authority and allegiance to the Sovereign. One the star is a circular emblem comprising a title band with the words "VICTORIA" and "POLICE" in white on navy blue, surrounding a disc with a blue cross on red fimbriated white containing 5 white 5-pointed stars. The stars and cross represent the Southern Cross, the red background the link with the Queen/royalty. Below the circular emblem is a blue scroll containing the motto "UPHOLD THE RIGHT" in white.
Jonathan Dixon, 1 October 2008

Having seen a copy of the warrant, the drawing is accurate with one major exception. The police Chief Commissioner of Victoria decided to 'modernise' the badge by substituting the original motto approved personally by Her Majesty - "Tenez le Droit" in French to the nearest equivalent in English "Uphold the Right". The badge modification was never approved by the Queen and certainly no new warrant was issued by the Second Sea Lord at the Admiralty. It could be argued that the ensign they have decided to use is unauthorised. At the Police Academy in the chapel, the ensign version there, has a gold fringe around it, perhaps a case of ex army personnel mistakenly thinking the ensign was a colour!
Neil Freeman, 21 February 2009

In the English heraldic tradition at least, an armiger does not need permission to change the motto on his coat-of-arms.
Miles Li, 22 Febraury 2009

When is it that this change happened? Australian flags are no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the British Admiralty (which was in any case superseded by the Ministry of Defence in 1964), and haven't been for many years, certainly not since the enactment of the Australia Act 1986. That act also provides that “all powers and functions of Her Majesty in respect of a State are exercisable only by the Governor of the State,” i.e., not by a ministry in Whitehall.

One might argue that the ensign was unauthorized if this change occurred before full sovereignty was transferred, but not since.
Joe McMillan, 22 February 2009

According to, the change was made in 1985, before the Australia Acts actually came into force. While there may be some ambiguity then, I doubt that the UK Ministry of Defence could be considered to have jurisdiction over Australian flags at that time.

In any case, the legal basis for the flag was not that simple to start with. Surely a warrant from the Admiralty only covered use at sea?
Jonathan Dixon, 22 February 2009

Police lance pennon

Several of the other photos at show what is presumably the Victorian equivalent of the WA Police lance pennon - swallowtailed, three horizontal stripes light blue, white, blue.
Jonathan Dixon, 18 Jan 2005

Having looked at the National Police Memorial photos website, I can now summarize the patterns of lance pennons used by mounted police in each Australian state and territory:
Victoria: light blue above white above dark blue. Proportions 1:3; swallowtail 1/3 the pennon length.
Miles Li, 13 March 2007