The flag of Australia was chosen in 1901 after a worldwide competition following Federation.
It is a defaced Blue Ensign: a blue field with the Union Jack top left, and a large white seven-pointed star known as the Commonwealth Star.
There have been persistent debates over changing the flag for years, particularly around the Australian Bicentenary in 1988 and the Sydney Olympics.
Former PM Paul Keating supported a change: “I do not believe that the symbols and the expression of the full sovereignty of Australian nationhood can ever be complete while we have a flag with the flag of another country on the corner of it.”
Lobby group AusFlag argue that the existing flag does not accurately depict Australia’s status as an independent and multicultural nation. So what are the alternatives?
1. The battle flag of the Eureka Stockade features the five stars of the constellation Crux Australis in white on a white cross and blue field. NOTE: images and information about these flag designs come from this Wikipedia page.
2. The existing Australian flag with the Aboriginal flag replacing the Union Jack.
3. A graphic representation of Uluru designed to represent “Australia holding the earth from down under”.
4. A blue field with the Southern Cross in the top left, then a thin white stripe before a thicker red section at the foot.
5. A green kangaroo over an orange sun on a white field.
6. Southern Cross with national colours.
7. A striking tricolour featuring black, gold and green and the Southern Cross overlaying the black section.
8. A golden Southern Cross on a blue field.
9. A blue field featuring the Southern Cross and a large gold Commonwealth star.
10. Seven Golden Stars includes the stars from the Southern Cross, the Commonwealth Star and the Sun from the Aboriginal Flag.
11. The Commonwealth Star overlaid on a black and red background. Features aspects of the existing Australian Flag and the Aboriginal Flag.
12. The stripes are designed to convey the vastness of Australia, red representing the Earth and blue the rivers.
13. The familiar Australian Commonwealth Star and Southern Cross above the Australian National colours of Green and Gold in waves to represent the Australian landscape, from the beach to the dunes of the outback.
14. The Southern Cross on a blue background with two strips of green and gold on the left hand side.
Should Australia “Get That Jack Off My Flag”?
An earlier version of this post did not adequately cite this Wikipedia page which provided much of the information on flag designs.
- Joyce Mitchell, the prison worker accused of helping two inmates escape from a New York prison, pleaded guilty and faces up to seven years in prison.