“Coat of Arms” buttons
Collectors are curious creatures, wanting to know where, when and what their treasures are made of? When it comes to uniform buttons, we also want to know who wore them? Therefore buttons with just a coat of arms, or just a cypher or crown are a bit annoying, a bit vague. To say they are government buttons or official buttons to me is like saying you have bought a new car. Well, what kind of car? If there is another clue, like the Olympic rings, then you know it came from the Australian Olympic team of 1996 (I’d like one of those).
One such button I bought was described by the seller as associated with the Hobart Government House. Perhaps other such houses around the country used these.
Another example was for the black and white naval style Customs uniform from 1954-1975. This button went on the tunic and overcoat and are made of a hard black plastic. See https://www.customscollector.com/images/stories/insignia/Australia/The_Never_Ending_Quest-Collecting_Australian_Customs_Insignia.pdf
Carol has shared a few others. Who knows whose uniforms they graced?
History of Coat of Arms in Australia
Initially, the British Coat of Arms was used for official purposes.
Sir Isaac Isaccs was our 9th Governor General, and the first Australian born one. In the National Library of Australia is his ceremonial uniform made by William Chorley of Sydney, including a fine hat sporting a British Coat of Arms button:
However, an “Advance Australia Coat of Arms” was designed even before there was an Australian nation. Although unofficial, it was widely used, even as the basis of official designs.
However, being unofficial, it was varied: the emu and kangaroo changed sides, supported the shield or not, and at times looked towards or away from the shield. The shield was surmounted by the Rising Sun. The rising sun was symbolic of the new country rising within the British Empire.
Post Federation, the first Coat of arms was granted in 1908. The emu had it’s foot up to support the shield, and the words ‘Advance Australia’ appeared on the scroll under the shield.
The current coat of arms, called the Commonwealth Coat of Arms dates from 1912.
Despite all this, as explained in http://www.hubert-herald.nl/Australia.htm the change over of usage of arms was gradual, as until 1986, the Australian States remained colonies of the UK!