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The Forum > Article Comments > Ray Martin is right > Comments

Ray Martin is right : Comments

By Greg Barns, published 1/2/2010

There is simply no good argument for Australia maintaining a flag which excludes Indigenous Australians.

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"It is incontrovertible to say that European Australia was built on bloodshed and a failure to respect the dignity and humanity of this landís original inhabitants. We have as a society gone some way to recognising this fact through the High Courtís famous 1992 Mabo judgment that recognised the title in land held by Indigenous Australians at the time of European settlement."
Nobody can deny that European settlement of Australia was characterized by the killing and dispossession of many Kooris and Murris and the introduction of disease, opium and alcohol. However there is one group of indigenous Australians who never "lost" their land and who were not moved to reserves or Mission stations remote from their homelands. I refer to the Torres Strait Islanders.
The Mabo case involved land title claims on Mer,an island in Eastern Torres Strait, where the Murray Islanders had lived for centuries and many still reside there. The Mabo judgment was extended to the mainland in the form of the Wik judgment.
However you lament the lack of any indigenous recognition in our flag as opposed to the Canadian flag. Where is the recognition of the original inhabitants on the Canadian flag? The original inhabitants utilized the Maple tree?
Surely the Aboriginals and Islanders utilized the Southen Cross as a navigation aid, the Cross featuring prominently on our flag. We all live under the Southern Cross.
Posted by blairbar, Monday, 1 February 2010 9:05:27 AM
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There's nothing wrong with the Southern Cross, it's the Union Jack that needs to go.
Posted by Shadyoasis, Monday, 1 February 2010 10:29:26 AM
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Ray Martin is an irrelevant fading pretty boy, trying to keep his name in lights, any damn fool way he can.

Greg Barns is a fading dill, who fitted well with that other dill Malcolm Turnbull, when he tried to make a mark with him.

Give it a rest Greg, we're not interested in such rubbish.
Posted by Hasbeen, Monday, 1 February 2010 10:35:00 AM
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Not only must the Union Flag go so that we can have a truly Australian flag rather than a 'defaced British Blue Ensign' (official definition of our current flag) but we must get our own head of state.

At present Australia is not even a democracy, let alone an independent country. Reason? Our elected government can be dismissed by the unelected representative (governor general) of the monarch of a foreign country (as defined by our High Court). That is not democracy; I don't know what it is but it is definitely not democracy.
Posted by paddymac, Monday, 1 February 2010 10:39:48 AM
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The Australian Flag will not change unless and until a majority of voters see an alternative design that they like. Intellectual debates are pointless. People will look at a design and say "Oh, yes!" or "Oh, yuk!" and that will be the end of the matter.

So, if a major media outlet wants to have a "debate" about the Flag without risking a change, it will open its comment lines but censor any comments that link to alternative designs. That's what News Ltd just did. (It gets worse. This page appears to be open for comments but isn't actually accepting any: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/its-time-to-update-some-of-our-aussie-symbols/story-e6frfhqf-1225825023470 .)

I presume that OLO isn't playing that game. But, as Mr Barns is calling for a design that recognizes the indigenous peoples, I shall limit my nominations accordingly (disclosure: two of the designs are mine). Here they are:

http://www.flagoz.com/ (boomerang)
http://is.gd/7rwz1 (boomerang & Aboriginal colours)
http://bc.id.au/flags/ (ditto, but more colours)
http://is.gd/7rxg0 (Aboriginal colours, with kangaroo)
http://makepeace.ca/au/flag/ (variant of Aboriginal Flag).

Then go to http://www.flagsaustralia.com.au/newflag.html and scroll down to:

Harold Scruby 1994 (Aboriginal colours, with kangaroo)
Ralph Kelly 1982 (boomerang)
Alan Wright 1983 (2 out of 3 Aboriginal colours)
David Couzens 1993 (ditto)
Russell Kennedy 1997 (Aboriginal colours, with 'roo profile)
Stephen Berry 1998 (different 2 Aboriginal colours).
Posted by grputland, Monday, 1 February 2010 10:47:19 AM
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I whole heartedly agree with Ray and believe it is time for a debate and to modernise our flag to better represent our country as it matures. I find it bewildering to hear people calling it can't go because it is our past, war, fighting for it etc...

The flag is a symbol of who we and how we develop. I want something iconic Australian not branded as if part of a heard.

From what I gather the Union Jack could change anyway if Scotland seeks independence in Parliament as the blue would be removed. Sort of shoots the arguement right down should that happen.
Posted by JPC, Monday, 1 February 2010 10:53:32 AM
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