The British Flag has been situated in the canton area or advance position and the Australian image has been in the fly or subordinate area for nearly two centuries now. Early attempts at adopting a unique image for Australia started in 1825 and 1834 with a British White Ensign modified with white stars of the Southern Cross on the red cross. Then in 1834 the red cross was changed to blue.

With the rejection of convicts being transported from Britain in 1854 the Anti-Transportation flag was used as a rallying banner. It was similar to the Blue Ensign except the stars were yellow. Two years later saw the Eureka uprising and the Eureka flag, which had a symmetrical white version of the Southern Cross on blue field which was raised as a protest against the excessive cost of gold mining licences.

At Federation in 1901 a competition was held, and two flags were chosen the Red Ensign and the Blue Ensign the Red Ensign was popular in the early twentieth century until the blue ensign was legislated by Sir Robert Menzies as the national flag in 1954.

In 1984 a year after the Americas Cup win and popularity of the boxing kangaroo flag, the Australian colours green and gold along with the national anthem “Advance Australia Fair” were adopted and given royal assent by Sir Linnaean Stevens with the advice of Bob Hawke.

A decade later in 1994 the Aboriginal flag designed by Harald Thomas was adopted as one of the official flags of Australia and now is flown in many government premises as well as the Torres Strait islanders’ flag which was adopted in 1998.


The Graphic History of Australian Flags and colours.

The history of flags and colours are displayed below


Vexillography

(The graphic design of flags)

There are approximately 18 conventional architype groups illustrated below. These groups make up about 450 nations and disparate nations of the world.

Vexillography is a minimalist aesthetic characterised by bold contrasting tone – colours and  archetypal form usually of two to four colours, however, the South African and rainbow flags has six. They both have a strong archetypal structure and form. 

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