It's not often that I do two blog entries in one day, but i think that both this issue and the previous entry deserve to be separated.
Not many Australian's will know or realise it, but today in Australia is Flag Day. I thought that I would take this opportunity to express my thoughts on Australia's flag. *puts on flame suit*
I know that a lot of people will vehemently disagree with me on this, but it is my own opinion that the flag of this great country should be changed. Now before the obvious responses to that statement come out, I love this country as much as any Aussie, and I do not hate Australia nor its history and traditions.
But just as I support the Australian Republican Movement, I think a closely related issue is that of the flag (although it would be suicide to include both of those issues simultaneously on a referendum!).
Like most other British colonies, our flag features that of Great Britain, the Union Jack. Jerry Seinfeld famously said a few years ago when visiting Australia: "I love your flag - Britain at night", and also the Barmy Army chant aimed at Australians: "Get your fucking stars off our flag." (lol)
This points out how much of the world sees the former British colonies' flags that include the Union Jack. Australia is not a British colony anymore, and just as we changed our national anthem from God Save the Queen, it is a logical extension that the flag of this sovereign and independent nation should follow suit.
A lot of resistance to changing the flag understandably comes from members or descendants of the various armed forces of Australia. Whilst I understand their emotion at changing something that people have fought and died for and under, the same argument of the national anthem is again relevant. Why was the anthem so easily officially changed in 1984, well after many years and wars of our soldiers singing and fighting along and under it? Why the difference from one obvious statement and reminder of British colonisation to another? Both were flown and sung through multiple wars and tours of duty, and like the anthem change, nobody would say that changing the flag diminishes in any way the service and sacrifice people have made for this country.
Whatever the argument, i realistically do not see the flag being changed anytime soon, mainly because of the tough Australian referendum requirements. Another obstacle is the extreme subjectiveness of what a possible successor to our current flag would actually be.
The high-profile organisation Ausflag have promoted various designs over the years, including more recently from national competitions these designs in 1998, and previously this one in 1993 (both 'winners' shown below).
In my own opinion, most of those designs aren't all that good. Probably the best Australian flag design that I have seen is the "Southern Cross and Boomerang" from FlagOz (shown below).
What I love about that flag is that other than retaining the recognisable Southern Cross, it simultaneously includes the country's colours (Green and Gold) whilst also acknowledging the Aboriginal heritage with the boomerang. I think it blends and fits so well, and would be a great symbol and flag for this nation and all Australians.
This is an extremely divisive issue, and of course this is all my own opinion. By all means express your own opinion in the comments below.