Monday, November 14, 2011

Australian state flags

Ok, been awhile, but I'm back to start a new series.  For the next few weeks, we'll be looking at, and trying to improve, the state flags of Australia.  In the past, I've complained about monotony in both Canadian provincial and American state flags, but compared to the Aussie ones, those are a rainbow of diversity.  Every state flag Down Under flows a simple formula, the Union Jack in the top-left corner and a seal on the right, all on a dark blue background.

In a sad way, the flags of the Australian territories have far more interesting and unique flags than their state counterparts.  Here are a couple of the best examples of this:

This is the flag of the Northern Territory, home to Ayers Rock/Uluru and the only part of mainland Australia that isn't a state (maybe the capital area too, but that's a different situation).  They've taken three colors that contrast well and used them to recreate two very prominent symbols, the Southern Cross (a constellation also found on the national flag) and the Sturt's Desert Rose (the territorial flower which also has historical connections).  A very nice flag which is very different than any of the state flags, even though it uses similar symbols.  Another great example of an Australian flag done right is Norfolk Island:

A small island in the Pacific, populated largely by descendants of the HMS Bounty's mutineers.  Although the tree in the center may be a bit too detailed, the Norfolk pine is a familiar symbol of the island, and the fact that they only use two colors for the flag works well.  Like the Northern Territory, Norfolk Island is part of the Commonwealth of Australia, but isn't a state.

In the coming weeks, I'll be going through the states of Australia, and maybe some of the other territories, and trying to help them stand out, or at the very least be distinguishable from one another.  First up will be New South Wales.  I'd be on the look out for me playing up the "Wales" part of that, mostly because I have difficulty resisting the urge to put a dragon on a flag.


  1. Both good flags. Norfolk pines are so graphic with their wagon wheel branches and big gaps, that I'd have thought they might have done a more spaced out version of the pine with fewer branches?

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