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11. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Quoting Peter

Where did you get that from Wocca?

Ask anyone around the aboriginal communities in Redfern (Sydney), Taree, Kempsey, or Moree (northern NSW).

From 1888 until well into the 1920s, there was bloodshed, including considerable slaughter of Aborigines. The Tasmanian aborigines were wiped out completely. Most of the British massacres have been wiped out of the history books. Remember Australia was "uninhabited" when Captain James Cook claimed it for England in 1770?

Western Australia (closely followed by Queensland)had the worst record for the treatment of aborigines. The WA natives were shackled like African slaves, and sent to Rottnest Island (Rotto) off the Western Australian coast from Fremantle. WA's "holiday island" doesn't get aboriginal visitors because so many of their ancestors are buried there. It spooks them no end.

Of course, there was the "stolen generation" of aborigines in the 1930's when black children were taken from their families, so they could be better intergrated into white society. It was believed that eventually the black race (or strain) could be eliminated through interbreeding with whites. The white gene was supposedly more dominant.

Also, the aborigines didn't get the right to vote until the early 1960's. Then conside how long it took Johnny Mabo to later win the first native title claim.

The aborigines nowadays are lumped in with other ethnic / migrant minority groups in Australia. The British (Anglo-Australians) have been there for well over 200 years now. Why should any minority group's flag be the "country's proper flag". Sorry, but I don't think there's much chance of that happening when it comes down to counting the votes of the Australian people when polling day comes around.

Quoting Peter

"...The Australian Aboriginal flag (which should be the country's proper flag) is very nice also. Really paints a much nicer picture of Australia than the current Colonial style..."

The Union Jack in the "colonial" flag represents the historical relationship to Great Britain (law, religion, war, etc). The number of stars represent the number of states. The constellation of stars is that of the "Southern Cross". There's a folk song written about that.

Red, white, & blue OR red, yellow, & black are ALL nice colours aesthetically. But as for meaningfulness ... I'd go for a yellow & green (national sporting colours) flag with the national coat of arms (emu & kangaroo) in the top right corner, and the southern cross constellation dominating the centre of the flag.

As mentioned in another forum; an opinion is a belief, an attitude, or a viewpoint. To each his own, however a common catchphrase of aboriginal activists is "Australia has a very black history". It's them that like to commonly claim that the red in the Aboriginal flag depicts the bloodshed they suffered when the white man arrived

[ Edit: quote fixed ]

12. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 11y

Wocca, I'm not saying there wasn't bloodshed. In fact, I wish the government would finally acknowledge past generations' crimes against Aboriginals. And it is still a tragedy today that Australian Aboriginal's life expectancy is among the lowest of any culture in the world.

As for the colour red, regardless of what other people have made out of it, my understanding is that the designer, Harold Thomas, intended it as follows:

Quoting http://www.ausflag.com.au/flags/ab.html

The flag was designed to be an eye-catching rallying symbol for the Aboriginal people and a symbol of their race and identity. The black represents the Aboriginal people, the red the earth and their spiritual relationship to the land, and the yellow the sun, the giver of life.

You're probably right though that a new flag should be something more unifying. Green and gold are good Australian colours and would make sense. Heck, anything would be better than the current insult to Aboriginals that Australians wave around at the moment. I'd hate to see a kangaroo on their though - goodness, talk about feeding into stereotypes.

But, on the bright side, the Aboriginal flag has actually been an official 'flag of Australia' since 1995.

Well, I don't really have a say in this at all, not even being an Australian - some day soon :) But I still think the Aboriginal flag is one of the more beautiful ones around!

13. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 11y

Quoting Wocca

The Union Jack in the "colonial" flag represents the historical relationship to Great Britain (law, religion, war, etc). The number of stars represent the number of states. The constellation of stars is that of the "Southern Cross". There's a folk song written about that.

Actually, the top left corner in a flag is considered the position of honour in 'flag language'.

Quoting ausflag.com.au

The current flag symbolises subordination of the Australian nation to Britain

Not, a 'historical' relationship.

The stars are nice - I can understand why people might want to keep those. Perhaps green and gold with the stars!

14. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

[quote=ausflag.com.au]"...The current flag symbolises subordination of the Australian nation to Britain..."

Of course ... The Commonwealth of Australia is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II, being the Queen of Australia. That situation won't change until the majority of Australians vote in favour of becoming a republic. The queen doesn't mind at all. It's up to the Australian people, however historically more referendums have been lost rather than won. Laisse faire!

If there was a plebiscite to change the national flag, I could possibly consider going back on the Australian electoral roll. Not that I'd necessarily return to Oz just to vote. I could do that by mail

15. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 11y

The problem with referendums is that people are usually only given one option of how things could be different. For instance, in the last referendum regarding the republic, the question was put whether Australia should stay as it is or use a model that had a figure head president and a prime minister (if my memory serves me correctly :)). The point is that people weren't voting to keep a monarchy situation - they were just voting about what was the best of the two options. The question that should have been put to them was 'Do you want to be a Republic? Yes, or No?'. My guess is the outcome would have been different.

The same problem would likely happen with a flag referendum. The question won't be 'do you want a new flag?', the question will be 'Do you want the current flag or this design that Johhny's mum came up with?'. Of course, the only way the flag will change is if Australia becomes a republic.

Still, nothing we can do about it right now - there's far more chronic problems here than the picture on the flag. But I digress.

So, what's your favourite flag??

16. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Quoting Peter

"...Still, nothing we can do about it right now - there's far more chronic problems here than the picture on the flag. But I digress..."

WOCCA:
+
An article by Gerry Van Wyngen in the August 5 - 11, 2004 issue of Business Review Weekly (BRW) entitled "AUSTRALIA ADRIFT", states that "We cannot meet the challenges of the future without drastic change".
+

Quoting Business Review Weekly

"...In only 10 years, China's gross domestic product, calculated on a purchasing-power basis, will exceed that of the United States, and India's GDP will exceed that of Japan. Asia will dominate the world economy, its finances and, increasingly, its power politics..."
+
"...If Australia was a business, it would set a mission statement within that global setting, a strategy that would enable it to reduce the risk to the future of the business while being able to pursue opportunities with the greatest potential for growth and profit.
+
How odd then that the opposite is happening. Forget for a moment where private ideals and sympathies might lie. Australia has recently made a series of commitments that tie it increasingly to the economy, politics and military leadership of the United States, even as that country's star is fading. A crude comparison is the relative decline of the British Empire to the rise of America a century ago.
+
What makes this even more curious is that Australia embarked on this course without research or regard for the consequences of its policy, direct and indirect, immediate and long term..."

WOCCA:
The Australian country / folk singer John Williamson released a song long ago entitled, "We Must Have A Flag Of Our Own". Some of the lyrics were:
+
"We're not Yankee sidekicks OR second-class Poms, AND we must have a flag of our own".
+
Is Australia ready to do anything on its own?

Quoting Peter

So, what's your favourite flag??

WOCCA: I've already answered that:

Quoting Wocca

Definitely BRAZIL first
And then, the unofficial sporting flag of Australia with the boxing kangaroo

[ Edit: email removed ]

17. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

This has been enlightening.

18. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 11y

Good stuff Wocca. That man is quite right. Why doesn't he run the country? Do you know how he feels about deporting 104 year old Chinese immigrants? :)

Ok, let me rephrase that last question then, as that isn't quite what I meant to ask!

So, what are some other people's favourite flags?

19. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Quoting samsara2

This has been enlightening.

Cheers E ...

20. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Quoting Peter

"...Good stuff Wocca. That man is quite right. Why doesn't he run the country? Do you know how he feels about deporting 104 year old Chinese immigrants?..."

The last time the Australian Prime Minister went to America to discuss immigration issues (Tampa Boat Crisis), there was an unrelated terrorist attack .... September 11. The leader in question then became a war-time Prime Minister. He also won the federal elections a couple of months later