The Australian Commonwealth ‘Coat of Arms’ was granted by George V in 1912 and is the formal symbol of the Commonwealth and its monarch. It serves as a sign of identity and authority. The Arms are used by Australian government departments and agencies, statutory and non-statutory bodies, Parliament and State and Commonwealth courts and tribunals to show the Authority of the Commonwealth and its Sovereign in whose name government and the law is carried out.
The 'shield' (sometimes called ‘escutcheon’) consists of six distinctive designs or ‘badges’ representing each of the six States and arranged in six ‘quarters’ all surrounded by a border of ermine. The border symbolises the bringing together of the States into a Commonwealth. The design is heraldic.