Should we have a new flag? And if we should, what designs should we consider?
Aussie patriotism is not the boastful, jingoistic, ubiquitous flag-waving of Americans. Our most cringeworthy manifestation of national pride is the egregious "Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi!" And like our flag that is not even original, being a corruption of the British rugby chant "Oggy Oggy Oggy oi oi oi".
When we wave our flag it's for special occasions; and that brings me to a secondary reason for a change. Our flag has been hijacked by the loopy right - toothless, tattooed hordes of bellicose bogans and neo-nazis draped in our national emblem, the self-righteously religious, RWNJs and far-right fascists. It's a sad day when the sight of your own national flag evokes misgivings about the reasons for its display.
The primary reason for a change though is that, dear Old Blighty, it's time. Your flag is wonderful - a great, inspiring design - so you can have it back. We're moving on.
Should we have a new flag? I was undecided until Jerry Seinfeld tipped me over the edge with his quip - "Nice! England at night." But we should change only when we have an inspiring, thoughtful alternative - and there are some truly awful ideas out there.
What are the options?
"Ausflag is an apolitical, non-profit organisation seeking to secure the popular support of the Australian people for the adoption of a truly Australian flag. "
Alternative flag designs are solicited by Ausflag and are shown on their web site. A very few of these designs are worth considering. The others range from hilarious through horrendous to hideous. So here are my rules for a new flag:
No green. Green is a horrible colour for a flag, i don't care that our national colours are green and gold. The Brazilian flag is dreck - mostly due to the horrid green. The best designed flags never have green. Retain some link with the past - keep the blue background.
3 colours - max.
No kangaroos, no emus, no boomerangs, no Uluru. It'll look like a souvenir tea towel.
Stylised animals make for great logos, not great national flags. We are not Australia Inc. (provided we vote the Libs out before they complete their agenda).
The KISS Principle. The simplest solution is always best. But a few horizontal or vertical stripes shows no imagination. Some offerings on the other hand look like the kindy kids have been let loose with an old Women's Weekly, bunny rabbit scissors and a bottle of Klag - a bit of this, some of that, throw that in....
No Aboriginal flag. It's theirs - let's not steal it from them; let them keep something FFS!
No Eureka flag. It's a great design with historical context but it, like our current flag, has been hijacked by fringe loonies and red necks.
Some submissions to Ausflag
From the You've Got To Be Kidding folder
An astronomical impossibility.
Tall Aussie cricketer strides to the crease for a day-night match.
Shelter shed wall at the paintball park.
126 bald men gathered around a camp fire.
Wally did a burn-out in his ute down in the dusty creek bed last night.
A dead kangaroo; killed in a meteor shower.
A kangaroo farting pixie dust
Someone blasted a hole in my Liechtenstein flag with a shot gun.
A nocturnal Homer Simpson lurking behind the back fence.
A smiley face x Pablo Picasso
I have little doubt that whoever came up with this shocker has green hair and a unicorn tattoo on their arse.
I was strolling along the beach when i got kidnapped by 5 alien spaceships.
From the good, sensible design folder
Minimal change, maximum effect. The winner unless a better one comes along.
A bit too close to the Finnish flag for comfort but a nice, neat design with cues from the Eureka flag. Reverse the colours?
Torres Straight Islands
While the Aboriginal flag is an example of good design the same can't be said of the Torres Straight Islander flag which brings to mind a plumber with trademark bum crack, head under the sink, hitting his thumb with a hammer.
Which US state has the Union Jack on its flag?