Australia 2004 Eureka Stockade Anniversary
- Issue Date : 29 June 2004
- Designed by : Janet Boschen
- Printed by : SNP Sprint
- Print Process : Lithography
- Perforations : 14 x 14½
- Dimensions: 37.5mm x 26mm
- Format: sheets of 50 (two panes of 25)
This issue commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade. The Battle of the Eureka Stockade came after years of increasing dissatisfaction on the Victorian Goldfields and a growing desire for more representative and responsible government. The events of Eureka and the public’s response to those events were perhaps the most important early steps on the path to the robust, direct democracy Australia is today.
50c Eureka Flag Stamp
The 50c stamp features a representation of the Eureka Flag, which at the time was called the flag of the Southern Cross. The flag has become a symbol of democratic rights and freedoms and is identified as a flag of the people. The original holds pride of place in the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery. The Eureka flag was first flown to rally people to Bakery Hill on 29 November 1854, the “Monster Meeting” of the Ballarat Reform League. The Ballarat Times reported that “there is no flag in Europe, or in the civilised world half so beautiful”.
$2.45 Peter Lalor Stamp
The $2.45 stamp uses an image of Peter Lalor, the man who led the diggers at the stockade. He joined the Ballarat Reform League when political tension on the fields was high, and later emerged as the leader of the diggers. At Bakery Hill, Lalor called on the men to swear loyalty to their new flag. He was seriously wounded in the attack at the stockade.
The stamp design also uses Lalor’s signature and a sketch by Charles Alphonse Doudiet, a Swiss-born Canadian who participated in the Eureka rebellion. The sketch, Swearing Allegiance to the Southern Cross 1854, shows the diggers taking the oath on Bakery Hill on 30 November 1854.
- Dimensions: 106mm x 69mm
The miniature sheet features the diggers’ oath and two more sketches by Charles Alphonse Doudiet. These sketches, from the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, have been important in establishing the events at Eureka. At left is Eureka Riot 17th October 1854, which resulted in the burning of Bentley’s hotel where James Scobie had been drinking before he was killed, and on the right, Eureka Slaughter 3rd December 1854. A digger’s licence is printed in the bottom left of the miniature sheet.
First Day Covers
The first day of issue postmark was Ballarat VIC 3350.