Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's a Grand Old Flag.

For those of you who are Australian, how do you feel about the Aussie flag?   Do you love it and never want it to change?  Or do you want it to change?    I'm not Australian, but I guess I shall give my opinion anyway.   I have mixed feelings.   I love the current flag, but I also think there could be benefits in changing it (such as including the Aboriginal flag)   Well,  I guess that wasn't a really good answer--very wishy-washy.

I know!  Maybe it can be an alternate universe kind of thing.   In one universe, Australia keeps the flag we all know and love.   In the other universe, they get a new flag that we will all love--well, because it's an alternate universe and that's the only flag we would know.

Anyway, below is a funny flag video from comedian Will Anderson.   You have to wait until the end to get to the bit about the flag.  The whole thing is pretty funny though.   



mooiness said...

Good question. And I'm gonna give you a wishy-washy answer too.

1. The Union Jack has a reason to be on the flag because this nation, if not for the British would not have existed. And the predominant culture is still Anglo-Saxon with an Aussie twist, which I love although ...

2. The Union Jack may be relevant in this country's foundation and its years before WW2, with such a diverse range of ppl now it just feels a tad exclusionary with its implication of "whiteness". And in recent years, it had been adopted by fringe right groups because of that.

3. But to have the flag all about the Aborginals is also not quite right because again it'd ignore the contributions of everyone else.

It's gonna be hard to design a new one. Some proposed designs that include the kangaroo and boomerang just feels too cheesy.

I think the best compromise will include the southern stars, the green and gold of our athletic colours, and the orange and black of the Aborigines.

*phew* That was a long-winded comment, but it is a complex topic. :)

Dina said...


I think it would be very hard to change a flag. Has it ever been done before in a country?

I think we just get so used of one thing.

I agree with the implication of whiteness. I get that feeling when I see the American Flag. I think it really happened after 9/11. There's that implication that the flag is now a kind of giving the finger to Arabs/Muslims....or anyone who happens to look like they might be Arab or Muslim.

I like your idea about the flag.

Maybe they should have a flag designing contest....Or have they already tried that?

Mim said...

The flag designing contest idea has been thrown around a few times.

I'm not particularly attached to our flag so I have no problem with the idea of dumping it for a revamped version. I do worry about what sort of nonsense we'd end up with though. I reckon it's way past time for the Union Jack to go, along with the monarchy I might add.

I'd prefer to see a design that was focused on representing the future of the nation rather than the past but I will admit to a certain fondness for the Eureka flag because I'm a bit anti-establishment and besides, it's a pretty awesome design.

mooiness said...

There had been a few design contests in the past few years: most notably during the referendum on becoming a republic, and leading up to the Sydney Olympics. But there was no serious push by the Govt to change it.

Here's a site showing entries in these competitions. It's a fascinating read:

Stephen Moore said...

I so want the Union Flag to disappear from the corner of our flag. I understand it's historical significance, but technically our flag is an ensign because of the presence of the Union Flag, and is therefore a subordinate symbol. Back in the day when it was designed that was appropriate: Australia was a nation within the British Empire, and as such the flag of the Empire was seen to be more important. Indeed, at that time the (white) Australian population saw themselves as being British first and Australian second.

There have been design competitions for a new flag. The organisation Ausflag has held a few, and has examples you can view. I don't really like any of them.

I've had a go at designing one, which can be seen here. An alternative to that would be to swap the positions of the blue and red bands.

And, yes, nations have changed flags. South Africa changed their flag after the fall of apartheid. Canada also changed their flag (back in the '60s I think). They used to have a red ensign with the Canadian Coat of Arms on the fly before they changed to their now iconic Maple Leaf design.

Dina said...

Mim: The Eureka fan has some positive aspects--the rebellion aspect. Although I wonder if some Chinese might be offended????? Just from what I read at the bottom of the wiki article. Would it have negative implications for them? Or do they see the anti-Chinese version as being totally different/separate?

Mooiness: Thanks for the links! Fascinating. I read some of it, but will need to read it more in depth later. Should I be embarrassed to admit I like the kangaroo ones??? I also like the Brendan Jones 1995 ones. I don't know. I like the ones with lots of different colors.

Stephen: Thanks for the link to Ausflag. I like the Aboriginal/Kangaroo one. I also like your flag. It stays fairly loyal to the old flag, but gets rid of the Union Jack.

Thanks for the info about South Africa and Canada. I never realized that. It sort of makes my feelings about changing the Australia flag less wishy-washy.

What I wonder about is the Nepal flag. How did they decide to make a different-shaped flag? What thoughts went into that. Does the shape mean something? I should go google probably.

Lightening said...

When I saw your title, it made me think of something entirely different. September is the month for AFL finals in Australia and one of the teams fight songs starts along a similar vein.

As for the Aussie flag, in all honesty, I think most Aussie's just don't care enough to change the flag. Have a flag, any flag. Whatever. We're a weird mob.

Will Smith is hilarious although I haven't heard him swear quite that much (I'm used to seeing him on TV and I think they tend to cull their swearing more for TV - depending on station and time slot). I loved the bit about women on the front line! Especially the bit about being able to find stuff. So true.

Bettina said...

me, I'm not fussed

I'm with Adam Hills regarding our national anthem though ;)


Dina said...

Lightening: I think all earthlings are a weird mob...VERY weird ; )

Bettina: I like the Adam Hills version too. Maybe HE should design a flag ; )

Mim said...

Bettina, I hadn't seen that before, LOVE it! I was watching Spicks and Specks recently and Adam got one of the guests up to sing our "National Anthem" and launched him off into Khe Sanh.

Dina, sadly the history of the Eureka flag probably does prohibit it being a real contender for a new Aussie flag. Too much controversy.

And speaking of us being a weird mob, there's a book (and a movie) on the subject.

Catatonic Kid said...

I reckon a new design wouldn't hurt but I haven't seen one that's any good yet. They keep holding competitions for them but so far, not so good. Hopefully by the time we become a republic someone will come up with a good looking idea.

Mandy said...

Dina!! I had to go back and look through my old lj in order to find you. But for some reason you popped into my mind! I'm so glad to find this blog and your others. I'll add you to my blogroll... can't wait to catch up with you. :)

Dina said...

Mim: The movie looks funny! Hopefully, I can find it someday. I wonder if the spicks and specks thing is on YouTube. I'll have to try and find it.

Catatonic Kid: I'm sure it's really hard to come up with a flag idea. That's probably one of the main reasons the old one is still in use. How do you get people to give up something they're used to and then agree on something new.

Dina said...



I haven't heard from you in a LONG time!!! After I write this, I will have to click on your name and totally stalk you.

Are you still involved with that artistic moms group????

I missed you and am SO glad to see you!!

mscherrylane said...

i think just for the sake of acknowledging how our country has been historically eg bristish colony etc I wouldn't like the flag to change- it is part of our identity record and what others recognise as Australia. I'm comfortable with there being two separate flags ie Cathy Freeman addressed this well when holding both the aboriginal and australian flag during one of the olympics...

Dina said...

mscherrylane, I think carrying two flags is a good idea. I like that.

Tors said...

Well, I just asked my Australian husband, and his response was "Meh." Read into that what you will. :)

Ariane said...

Just stumbled in on this, and I never miss an opportunity to have an opinion. :)

The Southern Cross is the only bit of our flag I feel any sort of attachment to. I am equally miffed that the history of the Eureka flag rules it out (never mind what happened at the stockade, the BLF gave it exactly the wrong connotations).

I really don't think that our British history needs to be displayed on our flag - we are unlikely to forget. :) And it just doesn't feel like 25% of our identity any more.

I guess I'd like to avoid red, white and blue, it's kinda been done before. But I'm no fan of green and gold, so I lean towards the colours of the aboriginal flag - it's just pretty. And please, god, no kangaroos. :)

Dina said...


I agree with the red, white & blue thing.

I love the Aboriginal colors.

I know! They could do the exact same Aussie flag, but use the Aboriginal colors. Then it would honor everything.

Oh and what's your deal with no kangaroo? Huh?

I think there needs to be like fifty kangaroos. All hopping along the bottom of the flag. Boxing kangaroos.

OR....even better. How about instead of a rectangle flag, maybe the whole flag can be in the shape of a kangaroo. That would really stand out.

I agree about the Eureka Flag. It's sad how something very positive can be turned negative.