A LEADING Australian academic has marked the country’s national day with a proposal to change the national flag.
Dr John Blaxland of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University has designed an alternative to the current flag, and believes his idea is representative of Australia’s mixed backgrounds.
Blaxland believes the existence of three official flags in Australia – with official flags for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ethnic groups – is cumbersome, but that elements of all three existing flags are incorporated in his model.
Blaxland explained to TheAge.com.au that the star to the left of the flag – which has seven points, in keeping with the ‘Commonwealth Star‘ symbolising Australia’s six states and overseas territories – contains 250 dots to recognise the 250 languages indigenous to the Australian population.
It also features an image of a red boomerang, as a nod to Australian engineering and ingenuity, beside a thin white strip and a blue field – a selection of colours which hint at the Union Jack and the country’s British heritage.
The rest of the flag carries the Southern Cross constellation that appears on the current flag, with the stars in the national colours of green and gold.
Though Australia retains Queen Elizabeth as its head of state, the country has full political independence from Britain – with laws passed in 1986 to cut the final political and judicial ties between the two.
The presence of the Union Jack on the current flag is a point of contention for many Australians who see it as inappropriate given Australia’s waning ties to Britain.