Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australian Flag .. Don't need a new flag, need a new perspective ?

As far as I know the Australian flag is made in Australia, it was not
imposed from outside. However unlike any where else I went to school,
Australia didn't teach me anything about the flag.

So here's my perspective:

The flag contains the tricolour: red, white and blue: representing the three
sisters of the French revolution: liberte, egalite, fraternite. The union
Jack does not represent the English crown, but the union of the kingdoms of
Britain: it comprises of the flags of the patron saints of each kingdom.
Thus representing the values and virtues of such saints.

The union jack is small off into a corner: Britain is relegated to history.
But the historical contribution is significant: it is the land of the Magna
Carta, the land where the king was tried for crimes against the people. Such
sets the scene that no one is above the law, not even the monarch. It is
land of John Stuart Mill and John Locke important contibutors to modern
democracy. It is the origin of the Westminster political system with its
upper and lower houses. It is the land of Adam Smith, and also where Karl
Marx wrote Das Capital whilst observing the industrialisation of Lancashire
and the exploitation of the working classes. It is the land which gave
industry to the world. And since its culture is industrialisation, and such
is copied around the world it has trouble defining its own identity.
Australia took this heritage and built upon it.

The large blue background of the flag: represents the heavens of the
southern hemisphere, and yet also the oceans surrounding an island
continent, as well as the vast open spaces. Vast open spaces, which are not
cluttered with complex industrial systems, nor polluted and contaminated.
This vast open space is a further symbol of freedom. Whilst the southern
cross provide direction and a guiding light in the southern hemisphere.
Australia one of the few privileged nations of the southern hemisphere: a
beacon to others in the south.

Of course we could change the flag:

Say a green background to represent the importance of agriculture. A golden
eagle to represent our freedom and independence. A red bar to represent the
blood split in wars fought in foreign lands, and the blood of the indigenous
people that was spilt. A black bar to acknowledge the importance of the
indigenous people. And a yellow orange bar to respresent the importance of
the mining industry. Only one problem: the flags taken it's the Zambian

Change the flag if you want:

But there is no point if nobody can relate to the flag, and no one is taught
it origins and history. History is important to a nations status, and people
have fought and died to defend the values that people have attached to the
Australian flag.

A new flag would require getting use to: not just Australians but the rest
of the world. And I don't think marketing guru's can compensate for a lack
of history associated with a new flag. Of course marketing could provide us
with a popular and a cute flag. But would we value and defend it, or would
we just have as many people wanting to change it to something else.

And in a global village, where we are citizens of the world, just how
important is the flag of a nation any case? For that matter how important
are the nations? Personally I think nations and their geographical
boundaries are obsolete and a general hindrance to further human

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