A new Australian national flag has been proposed to replace the current design of a blue field with the Union Jack and six stars, in an effort to “move on” from the country’s British heritage, reports the Daily Telegraph.
John Blaxland, a military historian from the Australian National University who created the new flag with the help of a graphic artist, says he wanted the design to be as evocative as Canada’s maple-leaf flag, reports MSN News. Taking elements from the country’s Aboriginal heritage, the proposed flag includes a seven-pointed star filled with 250 dots to represent Australia’s indigenous languages as well as the tongues of its millions of immigrants. Next to the star is a red section in the shape of a boomerang bordered with a white stripe.
So far, the flag has received mixed reviews, reports Sky News Australia, but Blaxland says it’s bound to be controversial because it combines so many different elements.
“People can identify with various parts of it and see that Australia is actually a multicultural place with a rich history that reaches back for generations,” he told the Telegraph.
“I get the significance of the current flag, I get the significance of the Union Jack. I also get that a lot of people don’t like it. I think we need to find a compromise, something that is going to be inclusive and appeals to all Australians.”
Blaxland has made one concession to the original flag, notes the Telegraph, in the form of a white stripe that echoes the Union Jack. “We can move on, we can reflect on our history but also acknowledge in the design … that we can’t completely trash the British heritage,” he said.
There is already a separate campaign, AusFlag, which recently created a green, gold, blue and white flag that it plans to unfurl at major sporting events and hopes to have raised as the official flag in Olympic medal ceremonies, reports the Australian.
The proposal for a new flag comes as Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan is renewing calls for Australia to become a republic. Meanwhile, the legacy of colonialism lingers: Aboriginal protesters outside parliament recently set light to the Australian flag and spat on it while chanting, “Always was, always will be Aboriginal land,” as the Daily Mail reports.