THE search is underway for one of the most important pieces of&nbsp;Australian&nbsp;history – the original&nbsp;Australian&nbsp;Flag unveiled at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne in 1901. Australian&nbsp;National Flag Association has launched the search in the leadup to&nbsp;Australia&nbsp;Day, saying it was time the first&nbsp;Australian&nbsp;Flag was located and preserved. Flag Association president Allan Pidgeon said the original flag was reportedly given to a museum following its unveiling, but there are no records of which museum or where the flag may have been taken. "It's entirely possible that this precious piece of&nbsp;Australian&nbsp;history is in a community hall or museum, or possibly even in a private home, without anyone realising its significance," Mr Pidgeon said. "The&nbsp;Australian&nbsp;National Flag Association is asking all&nbsp;Australians&nbsp;to look closely at any old national flag they may have in their care, and to get in touch with us if they think it could be the very first&nbsp;Australian&nbsp;flag. "The flag was first flown on the third of September in 1901, following a nationwide competition which attracted entries from around one per cent of the population. "That would equate to around 240,000 entries in today's&nbsp;Australia," Mr Pidgeon said. "Now, it's time for a fresh national effort – not to design a new flag, but to find that flag that flew from the top of the Melbourne Exhibition Building that&nbsp;day." The winning design was unveiled by the wife of&nbsp;Australia's first Governor General, the Countess of Hopetoun, in a ceremony reported in the Melbourne Age: As Lady Hopetoun entered, a huge Blue Ensign with the prize design of the Southern Cross and a six-pointed star thereon was run up to the top of the flagstaff on the dome and, breaking, streamed out on the heavy south-westerly breeze, a brave and inspiring picture. Mr Pidgeon said the six-pointed Commonwealth star mentioned in the media report, which represented the original states, gained an extra point in 1908; with the seventh point representing the territories. "This will be one of the first clues to identifying the original&nbsp;Australian&nbsp;Flag. Also, we are looking for a big flag - based on reports at the time, we believe that the first flag was about 11m&nbsp;by 5.5m&nbsp;in size.” Although more than 115 years have passed since the flag's last known sighting, Mr Pidgeon said ANFA was optimistic about the chances of locating the original. "Just last year, the flag that had been draped across the grave of Breaker Morant in 1902 was found on a rubbish tip outside Tenterfield,” he said. "So there's every chance that the original&nbsp;Australian&nbsp;flag is also sitting unnoticed somewhere. If so, it's time to find it and give it the recognition and respect it deserves. "We hope that there might be someone whose ancestor ended up with custody of the flag, or who has found a flag that looks significant, so that we can locate the historic first&nbsp;Australian&nbsp;flag and put it on public display." CLICK HERE to contact the&nbsp;Australian&nbsp;Flag Association.