The Tasmanian State Flag
On 25 September 1876 the Governor of Tasmania decreed that the distinguishing flag for vessels employed by the Government of Tasmania would be the blue ensign with a red lion superimposed on a white shield. This ratified a proclamation made by Queen Victoria on 7 August 1869 that “the distinguishing flag or ensign of the colony for vessels belonging to or permanently employed by the Government of Tasmania shall be a Blue Ensign with a Lion ‘Passant’ red on a white shield in the fly”. Lions have been prominent in European heraldry for centuries. A red lion appears on the Tasmanian Coat of Arms.
The flag was subsequently adopted for general State government use, but was not until 3 December 1975 that the design was officially gazetted.