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 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.
A referendum for Australia to become a republic was held in 1999 which didn’t pass the majority needed. Malcolm Turnbull was the director of the Republic movement at the time and in 2015 became prime minister he said “the Australian flag won’t change for a hundred years” surly this attitude goes against the spirit of the ARM because the current national flag the Blue Ensign is a colonial flag!
The republic designs I’m presenting are two-part horizontal with central insignia “architype” similar in design structure to Harald Thomas’s Aboriginal flag signifying reconciliation and racial equality.
Form versus Color
The Australian landscape is the driest flattest continent on earth. It is the most ubiquitous aspect about Australia which encompasses nearly all Its people, flora, fauna, infrastructure and economic activity.Red-brown earth and mostly sunny blue skies with dried out summer fields or intermittent arid shrubs cover 70 per cent of the continent, so these colours could be a factor in deciding the colours for a republic flag.Bob Hawk in 1984 chose to declare green and gold as Australia’s official national colours.
Sure, at the time they were popular with the heady days of the America`s Cup win and the popularity of the Boxing Kangaroo flag. But are green and gold the best colours for a republic flag they are very popular amongst sports people that`s fine most Australians are keen sports followers, and physical fitness is essential but when it comes to flag design colour is not the only factor. Flag design is a minimalist aesthetic and form is more important as a concept than colour although the colour is still essential.It`s problematic to have a nation’s identity based on a colour combination as many nations have similar official colours. Brazil also has gold and green as official colours.To what extent should we incorporate green and gold?
If at all. The context which is a republic national flag and not solely colours which must be incorporated in a form or design and the Australian landscape seems like an excellent choice. There are other factors involved in deciding the form and colour of the republic flag like the historical and Aboriginal reconciliation to consider which I have mentioned before.