Australia flying the flag for change
Published 28/01/2013 | 05:00
A new flag has been proposed in Australia, incorporating the Union and Aboriginal flags, in a push to "move on" from the country's British heritage.
Dr John Blaxland, a military historian from the Australian National University, designed the flag, saying he hoped to capture all aspects of the country's history, including its Aboriginal heritage, its colonial past and multiculturalism.
"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 said. The flag includes 250 dots to represent the range of Aboriginal languages and the native tongues of Australia's immigrants, as well as a white stripe to "echo" the Union flag.
"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. "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."
Ausflag, a group that has been lobbying for a change of flag, says the country should adopt a new one for sporting competitions to ensure its competitors were not mistaken for those from other countries that featured the Union emblem.
Peter FitzSimons, an author and former rugby union international, backed the calls, saying the current flag "is no longer a symbol that unites us – it divides us". (© Daily Telegraph, London)