Australia: a new flag design

Is it time for Australia to loosen its links with the UK in one of the most symbolically powerful ways possible – with a new flag?

Australian military historian Dr John Blaxland, based at the Australian National University, has drawn up a design that symbolically brings together the Union and Aboriginal flags.

Dr Blaxland said he wanted the design to be as evocative as Canada’s maple leaf flag.

He said he understood the significance of the current flag and the Union Jack as a six-generation Australian of British descent and a former serviceman.

“But, I also get that a lot of people don’t like it. So I think we need to find a compromise, something that is going to be inclusive and appeals to all Australians,” said Dr Blaxland Speaking to ABC television.

“So that’s why I tried to come up with a new design, a design that spoke to more than one group, more than one political orientation.” 

The new flag, which he finessed with the help of graphic artist Sancho Murphy, is designed to reflect on Australia’s history and its future.

It contains the colours of the Aboriginal flag, but with the yellow sun turned into a seven-pointed Federation star which is currently part of the national flag.

There are 250 dots in the star with 150 representing Aboriginal languages and another 100 dots speaking to migrant groups which have come to Australia since 1788.

“This blends into a red boomerang which speaks to innovation and creativity and that blends into a white band and a blue band which is a symbolic reference to the Union Jack but modified for Australian conditions,” said the historian.

The traditional Australian design of the Southern Cross is there in the flag, but with a symbolic colour scheme.

“You’ve got the blue and the green of the Torres Strait Islander flag and the green and the gold, which is what we associate with modern, multicultural, independent Australia,” he said.

Dr Blaxland suggested Anzac Day 2015 would be the perfect time to see it hoisted from masts.

On Bing: more about the new Australian flag design