We’re kicking off a new series here at BestFlag where we showcase our favorite flags from around the world. Part of the joy of working with flags is working with the history of flags. Flags are a symbol of pride, but behind the outward symbol, there is often a storied history and intentionality behind what we see.
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Part 1 of our Flags of the World series focuses in on one of the most recognizable flags, the Australian flag.
The Australian flag can be split into 3 major design components:
- the Union Jack
- the Commonwealth Star
- Southern Star
The Union Jack is, of course, the flag of Great Britain. Australia, originally, is a former territory of Great Britain. Some historians believe the inclusion of the Union Jack as a nod to how Australia began, and other historians believe it to be a statement of loyalty. It’s a small difference, but it’s one worth noting.
The Commonwealth Star is also known as the Federation Star. Each point in the star represents one of the 7 federating colonies of Great Britain.
Unbeknownst to us up here in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Cross is one of the most distinctive constellations in the southern hemisphere. Whenever the flag was first being designed, one of its designers, Ivor Evans, used the Southern Cross as a representation of Dante Alighieri's 4 primary moral values: justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance.
There has been significant debate over the inclusion of the Union Jack in recent years. Many Australians believe it may be time for Australia to finally sever all ties with Great Britain.
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