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Introduction


The wattle is our only authentic national symbol – totally, unambiguously of this land. It is not conflicted or qualified in its identity or loyalty. It is eloquently, elegantly and undoubtedly Australian.

Terry Fewtrell
President, Wattle Day Association

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Introduction


The wattle is our only authentic national symbol – totally, unambiguously of this land. It is not conflicted or qualified in its identity or loyalty. It is eloquently, elegantly and undoubtedly Australian.

Terry Fewtrell
President, Wattle Day Association

A proposal for a new Australian Flag

The Golden Wattle Flag is designed to be a ‘new’ symbol that expresses our Australian identity.

Over the last three decades, there have been many design proposals put forward for a new Australian flag. Most incorporate familiar symbols such as the Southern Cross, Commonwealth Star and kangaroo. 

Much like the wattle, these symbols are some of our most enduring national emblems and will always be part of our collective identity. 

The Golden Wattle Flag finds inspiration in these symbols, drawing them in conceptually and concretely, to build on the story of who we are as a nation and a people.

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Golden Wattle Flag


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Golden Wattle Flag


The Golden Wattle Flag was designed to communicate a primary story of unity, and to celebrate the natural beauty of our land that unites us all.

 

The Golden Wattle Flag

The Golden Wattle Flag is a symbol of our nation’s diversity and aspirations of unity. It represents all the people of Australia, without distinction of race, language, belief or opinion, united equally as one.

Wattle star emblem
The wattle star emblem represents seven stylised wattle blossoms and the Commonwealth Star. Two national symbols combined as one. The individual flowers arranged around the star suggest the idea of diversity and the unity of our nation. “We are one, but we are many“.

The golden wattle is one of our most enduring symbols – it has part of Aboriginal culture for thousands of years, it’s the inspiration behind our national colours, green and gold, and is Australia's national flower. The Commonwealth Star has been the emblem of Australian Federation since 1901.

 

Colour
Green and gold, are the national colours of Australia, first used in 1899. They were derived from the palette of the golden wattle leaf and yellow blossom.   

Green and gold are primarily a symbol our land, and associated with sport through its historical use on Australia's national sporting uniforms. The shade of green used on the Golden Wattle Flag is dark myrtle, known in Australia as 'baggy green'.

The central yellow emblem also provides an important visual connection to the yellow sun on the Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Dhari and star on the Torres Strait Islander Flag.

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Distinctly Australian


I wrote for her, I fought for her,
And when at last I lie,
Then who, to wear the wattle, has
A better right than I?

Henry Lawson

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Distinctly Australian


I wrote for her, I fought for her,
And when at last I lie,
Then who, to wear the wattle, has
A better right than I?

Henry Lawson

Distinctly Australian

Australia stands apart in our diversity and uniqueness — in our culture, our peoples, our climate, our geography, our nature, our history.
Our flag should celebrate and represent the rich uniqueness of Australia.

 

Should a flag be self-explanatory?

The symbolism and colours of our flag should be meaningful and relate to Australia, but that meaning does not need to be immediately understood by other nations. Without explanation most national flags are a mystery at first, their significance as national symbols often comes after they are adopted. For example, there is nothing on the flags of the US, UK or France that literally represents those countries, and yet they are widely recognised by most people.

 
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An emblem for Australia


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An emblem for Australia


An emblem for Australia

The golden wattle

The golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha) is the official floral emblem of Australia. It has served as a national symbol celebrating Australia’s nature and environment since the 1820s. The wattle represents our land and its natural beauty, our shared history, our diversity and our resilience as a people.

Wattle as a symbol also holds meaning for Aboriginal Australians because it is native to this place, rather than being a memorial of our ties with Great Britain. As a symbol of nature, it represents the depth of feeling and connection Aboriginal people have with their land.

Learn more Why the wattle? 

Commonwealth Star

The Commonwealth Star has been a symbol representing the Federation of Australia since the formation of the nation in 1901. Six of the seven points of the star represent each of the original states of Australia, and the seventh point represents the Australian territories and its future states.

The Commonwealth Star is the only symbol on the current flag that is uniquely Australian. It is found on our coat of arms, our currency, the badges of the Australian Defence Force and throughout the Australian Honours system.

 

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Representing First Australians


We are seeking a flag of unity and
healing under which all Australians
are represented equally. 

Gatjil Djerrkura

 

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Representing First Australians


We are seeking a flag of unity and
healing under which all Australians
are represented equally. 

Gatjil Djerrkura

 

Representing First Australians

Australia’s Aboriginal culture represents the most ancient and unique aspect of our national identity. If our new flag is to be a truly unifying symbol, it must equally represent all Australians and acknowledge our collective history, not just our colonial past.

This does not necessarily mean we should appropriate Aboriginal art symbols, or subsume the Indigenous Australian Flags into the National Flag. To do so would only diminish their importance and ability to be a symbol of unity and identity for Aboriginal Australia.

Instead, our new flag needs to draw on cross-cultural images that represent unity – symbols that are meaningful for all Australians. The wattle can be seen as one of these symbols because it provides a solid foundation for a shared Australian identity.

"As a living expression of our land, wattle links us to the earliest human occupation of this continent. Indigenous Australians have used wattle for thousands of years as a season marker (a sign that the whales are coming), as a source of food, medicine and the raw material for hunting and sound instruments. That is part of wattle's wonderful heritage as a unifying symbol of our land, our people and the nation.” 

Terry Fewtrell
President, Wattle Day Association.

 

Whatever our identity today is or has become, it is an identity that cannot be separated from Aboriginal Australia. For their fifty thousand years here has slaked the land with their resonances, their presence and their spirit. Our opportunity is to rejoice in their identity, and without attempting to appropriate or diminish it, fuse it with our own, making the whole richer.
— Hon Paul Keating
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Simplicity / Design


Flags matter.
They rally. They mobilize.
They represent.
A flag can embody and
affirm a community’s
ideals and values.
A flag can welcome,
console, honour, unify.

 

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Simplicity / Design


Flags matter.
They rally. They mobilize.
They represent.
A flag can embody and
affirm a community’s
ideals and values.
A flag can welcome,
console, honour, unify.

 

The virtue of simplicity

Flags flap. Flags drape. Flags must be seen from a distance and from their opposite side, or remain legible as a small on-screen icon. Under these circumstances, only simple designs make effective flags.

Reference: Good Flag, Bad Flag Ted Kaye

 

The Golden Wattle Flag has the virtue of simplicity; it focuses on a single symbol, made of bold shapes, and two strong colours. The wattle star emblem remains legible when small or when reversed, as both sides of the flag are identical. It also creates a distinct graphic when furled.

Design specifications

The preferred ratio of the Golden Wattle Flag is 3:5, although the flag can also be proportioned to a ratio 2:3 and 1:2 if required.

The wattle emblem is positioned at the exact center and is 5/7ths of the height of the flag. 

Design guideposts

  1. Must work with minimal complexity
  2. Use meaningful symbolism
  3. Use inclusive and unifying symbolism
  4. Be distinctive
  5. Be attractive
  6. The design should be reversible
  7. Use Australia's national colours
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Blue and Gold


Wattle has been the silent witness
of the Australian story for millions
of years. It has welcomed us all,
indigenous, colonials and modern
day arrivals.

Terry Fewtrell
President, Wattle Day Association

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Blue and Gold


Wattle has been the silent witness
of the Australian story for millions
of years. It has welcomed us all,
indigenous, colonials and modern
day arrivals.

Terry Fewtrell
President, Wattle Day Association

Blue and gold wattle

The Golden Wattle Flag also works when expressed in Australia’s traditional heraldic colours, blue and gold (yellow). Prior to 1984, blue and gold were considered the ‘unofficial’ national colours of Australia.

Yellow represents the wattle flower. Blue represents the sea which surrounds our ‘island continent’, or a yellow wattle seen against a rich blue Australian sky. 

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Support us


 

Become a supporter of the Golden Wattle Flag proposal