Saturday, 17 March 2007

My proposal for a new Australian flag

Yes, I'm proud to be an Australian citizen, but I don't much like the current Australian flag (below). To be specific, I don't like the Union Jack in the flag's canton. It looks like we're (still) kowtowing to the British.


Lots of Australians share my sentiment, and there have been lots of new design proposals that appeal to Australians' sense of self-respect.

I quite like the rest of the flag, I must say, but merely ripping out the Union Jack from the flag would leave it a little bare. So I've been thinking up my own design.

Now, I have a theory about flag design. I have observed a strong correlation between the colours in a national flag and how well-off the country is. In general, countries with only red and white in their flags' designs tend to be rich, or at the very least, middle-income. This rule also applies to countries with blue, red and white, but only if the white is used as a buffer between the blue and red areas. Without white as a buffer between blue and red, countries tend to slide dramatically down the economic ladder. Blue and red with no white at all is deadly (e.g., Haiti).

White seems to be essential. But countries with only blue and white in their designs tend to be low-to-middle-income countries. So blue doesn't seem to attract wealth as well as red.

"Red and white", or "red, blue and white (with white as a buffer)" seem to be the way to go.

Yellow, brown, green and black are the "kiss of death" in economic terms. Countries with these colours in their flags are predominantly from the Third World (135 in all), with only 11 exceptions.

If you don't believe me, check these out for yourself.

Red and white only:
Rich countries: Austria, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, England (not UK), Japan, Qatar, Monaco, Singapore, Switzerland (10 out of 19 - 52.6%)
Middle-income countries: Georgia, Latvia, North Cyprus, Poland, Turkey (5 out of 19 - 26.3%)
Poor countries: Indonesia, Peru, Tonga, Tunisia (4 out of 19 - 21.1%)

Red, white and blue (white acting as a buffer):
Rich countries: Australia, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, UK, US (9 out of 16 - 56%)
Middle-income countries: Panama, Serbia Montenegro, Slovakia, Thailand (4 out of 16 - 25%)
Poor countries: Liberia, North Korea, Trinidad and Tobago (3 out of 16 - 18.8%)

Red, white and blue (white not acting as a buffer):
Rich countries: None! (0 out of 9 - 0%)
Middle-income countries: Cuba, Czech Republic, Russia, Slovenia (4 out of 9 - 44%)
Poor countries: Cambodia, Chile, Laos, Myanmar, Samoa (5 out of 9 - 56%)

Blue and white only:
Rich countries: Finland, Scotland (2 out of 8 - 25%)
Middle-income countries: Greece, Israel (2 out of 8 - 25%)
Poor countries: Honduras, Micronesia, San Marino, Somalia (4 out of 8 - 50%)

Red and blue only:
Rich countries: None! (0 out of 1 - 0%)
Middle-income countries: None! (0 out of 1 - 0%)
Poor countries: Haiti (1 out of 1: 100%)

Other colours (especially yellow, green and black):
Rich countries: Belgium, Brunei, Germany, Ireland, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sweden, UAE (11 out of 146 - 7.5%)
Not-so-rich countries: Too numerous to mention (135 out of 146 - 92.5%)

The correlations are quite dramatic. Obviously, as a patriotic Aussie, I would like my country to remain rich, with the highest probability. So I'll go with one of the "safe" colour schemes, red and white only, or red, white and blue.

After trying out a few designs, here's the one I feel most comfortable proposing as my candidate for the new Australian flag. It has the Federation Star and the Southern Cross, just like the current flag, so that takes care of the continuity bit.



This is a national flag I could unreservedly be proud of. It's the flag of a sovereign nation, not a former British colony. The only thing left is for the country it represents to become a republic. But that's the topic for another post.

I also toyed with the idea of solidarity with Canada. Australians have a healthy dislike of both the US and the UK, but Canada and New Zealand seem to be OK in our books. So here's another design inspired by the Canadian flag.


And here are two designs inspired by the South African flag (which looks fantastic but uses an economically unwise colour scheme).



P.S. For China to really arrive, all they need to do is change the yellow stars on their flag to white!

Update 04/02/2015:

The Facebook site "Jack Off - Get the Union Jack off our flag" has a number of design suggestions. I have modified the designs of some contributors to produce flags conforming to the colour scheme I support.

This is based on a design from Brian Nedic:

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