Gavin R. Putland,  BE PhD

Sunday, December 26, 1999 (Comment)

Flag designs, Southern Cross theme, 2:3

Flag image

National Flag and Ensign:

Flag image

The Southern Cross, with large stars for maximum visibility, takes the senior position. Each of the four main stars is a Commonwealth Star, with seven points representing the six Original States and the Territories. The five-pointed star (Epsilon Crucis) imitates not only the corresponding star on the present National Flag, but also the white star on the Torres Strait Islander Flag, whose five points, like the five stars of the Southern Cross, represent the five main island groups. Together, the stars also recall the navigational skills of the Islanders. The boomerang is the most recognizable of indigenous symbols and the most obviously Australian feature of the design. The colour Black, as on the Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag, represents the indigenous peoples. Black also conveniently depicts the night sky. Gold represents the sun (as on the Aboriginal Flag) and the Golden Wattle, the Australian Floral Emblem. On this driest of continents, Gold represents fire as master and servant — bushfires, controlled burn-offs, cane fires, coal fires, gas fires, and the glow of molten iron — and Black the aftermath of fire. Red represents the land (as on the Aboriginal Flag) and the blood of martyrs of all races. Three of the four colours (Black, Red and Yellow/Gold) are found on the Aboriginal Flag. Two (Black and White) are found on the Torres Strait Islander Flag. Two (Red and White) are found on the present Australian National Flag and the Australian Red Ensign. One (Gold) is shared with the national colours (Green and Gold) and with the colours of the crest of the Australian Coat of Arms (Blue and Gold).

Military Flag and Ensign:

Flag image

Naval Ensign:

Flag image

Sports Flag:

Flag image

Geometric description

All four designs have the same geometry.

Let the flag be 100 units high and 150 units long. Let each point on the flag be represented by the coordinates (x,y), where x is the distance from the left (pole) edge, and y is the distance from the bottom edge; that is, let (x,y) be Cartesian coordinates with the origin at the bottom left corner.

Then the vertices of the boomerang are

(80,0) (110,60) (80,100) (95,100) (128,62) (90,0)

and the stars of the Southern Cross are arranged as follows:

                 Centre    Outer   Inner   No. of
                 coords.   diam.   diam.   Points

Alpha Crucis     (50,17)    20       9        7
Beta Crucis      (25,56)    20       9        7
Gamma Crucis     (50,83)    20       9        7
Delta Crucis     (72,62)    20       9        7
Epsilon Crucis   (60,46)    11       5        5 .


I use my real name on the internet. Critics who send recycled arguments under assumed names from fly-by-night email accounts will not be dignified with any response. War veterans who claim to have fought “for the Flag” will be respectfully asked whether, if 51% of the Australian people were to vote for a new National Flag, the other 49% would be justified in taking up arms to defend the old one.


The above designs are simply shortened versions of my earlier 5:8 designs on the same theme. The National Flag design is a rearrangement and simplification of Brendan Jones's “Reconciliation” design.

Page history

Text and graphics first published: Dec.26, 1999. Relocated with updated links: Aug.29, 2004. Converted to web-safe colours: August 2006. Merged with another page (containing explanation of the design) and relocated with updated links: Jul.5, 2009. Relocated & last modified Jul.5, 2012. In retrospect, the main stars seem to dominate the boomerang when viewed from a distance; so I'm inclined to make them slightly smaller, e.g. with diameters 18 and 8, instead of 20 and 9.

Creative Commons License         Return to Contents
comments powered by Disqus