By Peter Wingate
Much as I am proud of my British roots I can’t stand the fact that my chosen home, one of the most beautiful and successful lands on Earth, and thus inhabited by immigrants from every other country on Earth, continues to display the Union Jack in the prominent top left hand corner of its most important visual symbolism.
What’s your problem you whinging English Ex-pat, don’t you get the best of both worlds; your birth country’s flag in your home country’s flag. Lucky you! First of all, I’m SCOTTISH, and don’t you forget it, and secondly, the two countries are separate sovereign nations on opposite sides of the world. We Australians (yes, I’m Australian now) don’t need to borrow our history or pride from our colonists. We don’t need to glorify our British colonial history as if we’d be nowhere without penal slave labour, aboriginal genocide and concepts of ‘terra nullius’ to build a nation on.
The Australian flag, as we know it, is dominated by the flag of a different and independent sovereign nation, does not include either of our national colours; green and gold, but uses the ubiquitous colours of the United Kingdom, France, Russia and the United States (to name a few) and in no way make reference to our continent’s original rich and incomparably ancient civilisations, or the multicultural nature of our modern society.
It needs to symbolise the country it represents and be able to be ‘read’ as you would a great Australian icon; as a visual embodiment of what we are about; a unique people and society stronger in its great diversity; flourishing in a cruel yet stunning landscape. Needless to say, I thought I’d have a go at designing one myself (put your money where your mouth is, I say)….Introducing ‘Desert Bloom” (shown below).
That’s all very nice and pretty, but ‘What does it mean?’ you might say. Well… Blue represents Australia’s endless blue sky and optimism for our future. The Commonwealth Star is unchanged as it represents our states and territories and the Southern Cross speaks of our continent’s unique position in the world. Green and Gold, our national colours, represent our flora and prosperity. Black represents our fertile land and the indigenous custodians of it. Red represents the desert heart of our continent and our spiritual link to it. The five colours together represent the peoples from all the nations on Earth that call Australia home. As symbolised in the Olympic flag, every one of the world’s flags contain at least one of these five colours.
There you go, sorted Guvnah! No more foreign Pommy flags in our very un-foreign Aussie flag, and both the national colours AND the red, black and yellow of our First Nations Peoples! Seems simple now…
Want to know more? Checkout my website: http://peterjohnwingate.wixsite.com/aus-flag and even leave a comment (it’s your aussie rite!)