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Parramatta City Council (NSW, Australia)

Last modified: 2016-06-14 by ian macdonald
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[Parramatta City Council flag] image by Jens Pattke and Antonio Martins-Tuvalkin, 17 August 2010

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Description of the Flag

The flag of the Parramatta City Council, New South Wales, consists of three vertical stripes of light blue-white-light blue with city logo in the center of the white stripe. You can see it on a photo here: Logo can be seen here:, but the blue on the logo is more violet on the flag.
Valentin Poposki, 11 August 2010

Parramatta, 23 km west of the Sydney CBD at the head of the Parramatta River (which becomes Sydney Harbour), was the second European settlement in Australia. It is still the second major hub of Sydney, with a growing business district of its own. The council website describes the city as the "capital of Greater Western Sydney", and information on its history refers to the "capital of western Cumberland" [County - counties are now almost entirely obsolete in NSW].

The area was chosen as the site for a farm by Governor Phillip in 1788 and named "Rose Hill"ť. The name Parramatta was adopted in 1791 from the local Dharug people's name for the place: Barramatta, meaning 'head of the waters' or 'eel waters/creek'. It was a significant meeting place before and after European settlement.

The city council now spreads from central Parramatta to the north-east, north-west and south, in a Y shape.

The logo takes the form of a circular seal, with an orange (gold?) centre, a dark blue ring and a thin dark blue blue encircling line all separated from each by white fimbriation. The blue ring bears the words "PARRAMATTA" (at the top) "CITY COUNCIL" (at the bottom). The orange disk features a scene in black silhouette, showing an Aboriginal man and woman fishing in a river (the woman seated in a canoe, the man in the foreground standing in the water with a poised spear). In the background are a shore with two palm trees visible (to the right) and 'an old steamer on the horizon' (to the left).

According to material provided by Council Communications Officer Tim Evans, the inaugural Council commissioned a 'novel and picturesque landscape style of heraldry' seal and "crest" in November 1861. The been recent suggestions that the original was based on a Burns Philp money token, making it look more like the South Sea Islands than Parramatta River. Unusual features include the steeply sloping foreshore, the palms (in the past described as cabbage-tree palms, reportedly typical regional vegetation), and the appearance of the steamer (paddle-steamers did once travel the shallow waters of the river) with tall masts.

Over the years, the scene has been redrawn at least 4 times in the seal format, and also appears at the entrance to the Parramatta Town Hall (built in 1880), in an escutcheon. Larger depictions, such as found on the Council Chambers building, show more details, such as cross pieces and a clay fireplace in the bark canoe. The version of the logo seen on the pictured flag is the 1994 one, with the spearhead featuring three shell points mounted one on top of each other. According to pp43-44 of the Council's 2004 State of the Environment Report (, the Indigenous community was consulted about the accuracy of the depiction, and the current version [as linked by Valentin] instead shows the three-pronged spear of 'gig', commonly used around Sydney. Each prong is tipped with a sharp fish tooth.

The flag is flown, together with the national flag, from the top of the Council Chambers behind the Town Hall. The flagpole on the Town Hall flies the national flag, while the three flagpoles out the front in the Church St mall [street closed to traffic] usually fly Australian, Aboriginal and TSI flags. I have only seen the City flag otherwise used in the context of celebrating the Parramatta Eels rugby league team.
Jonathan Dixon, 12 August 2010

The flag flying from the Council Chambers shows the three stripes equal in size.
Jonathan Dixon, 19 August 2010

The City of Parramatta is technically a new local government area, one of two products of a three-way merger. In practice, though, it is simply the former Parramatta City Council with significant boundary changes. I expect they will continue to use basically the same the flag and other symbols, and their web presence already uses a new version of the seal, with the text changed to "CITY OF PARRAMATTA".
Jonathan Dixon, 16 May 2016

Variant flags

[Parramatta City Council flag] based on image by Jens Pattke and António Martins, 9 January 2016

Council now also regularly flies flags at two large flagpole on the banks of the Parramatta River at Parramatta. At the moment, the flags are the national flag and the usual triband city flag, however at times an alternative city flag with the badge on a plain white field has been flown. See this photo from the 225th anniversary of white settlement/75th anniversary of city status in November 2013:
Jonathan Dixon
, 9 January 2016

[Parramatta City Council flag] image by Jens Pattke and António Martins, 9 January 2016

I came across this variant of the flag for vertical use, with the badge rotated to remain vertical at
Jonathan Dixon, 9 January 2016