As the country celebrates Australia Day for another year, a military historian from ANU has renewed calls to update Australia’s national flag.
Dr John Blaxland from the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific designed a new national flag and says that ANZAC Day 2015 would be the perfect time to see it flying from masts across the country.
Speaking to ABC television’s News Breakfast program this morning, Dr Blaxland said that he wanted the design to be as evocative as the maple leaf design on the Canadian national flag.
“I’m a sixth-generation Australian of British descent, I’m an ex-Serviceman. I get the significance of the current flag. I get the significance of the Union Jack.
“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.
“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.”
Dr Blaxland explained that the motivation for his design – which he has finessed with the help of graphic artist Sancho Murphy – was to reflect on Australia’s history and its future.
“What you’ve got there is the colours of the Aboriginal flag, the black the yellow and the red and that is recognisably the Aboriginal flag. But, the yellow sun is turned into a seven-pointed Federation star which is part of the current Australian flag.
“And in that star we have 250 dots, 150 which represent the 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.
“Moving to the right we have the Southern Cross, the traditional Australian design, but the colour scheme is symbolic – 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.”
More: Vote on Dr John Blaxland’s design at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific’s Facebook page. Watch a video interview of Dr Blaxland on ABC television’s News Breakfast and read an opinion piece by Dr Blaxland on why he thinks a new flag would show the world Australia's true colours at The National Times.