Could Australia Get a New Flag?

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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