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Archive for November, 2011

Boomerang Test #6. Symbols of Australia
SILVER i.) Flags: Describe the flag of your State or Territory and show an understanding of its components.

Victorian State Flag
Victoria was the first Australian Colony to have its own flag.

In 1865, under the Colonial Naval Defence Act, passed by the Imperial Parliament, the Australian Colonies were empowered to provide, maintain and use vessels of war. A requirement therefore arose for each colony to have its own distinctive flag.

A despatch from the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in December, 1865, required that all colonial vessels of war wear a Blue Ensign with the seal or badge of the Colony in the fly and a Blue Pennant.

On 4 February 1870, a proclamation by the Governor directed that the badge of the Colony of Victoria be of the following design – ‘five white stars, representing the constellation of the Southern Cross’.

On 10 February 1870, The Argus newspaper reported the first flying of the Victorian Flag:

‘An event of some importance in the history of the Colony – the inauguration of the flag which has been adopted as our national ensign – took place on board H.M.V.S. “Nelson” (Victoria’s first colonial warship) yesterday, and the inaugural ceremony was made the occasion of a very pleasant trip down the bay…’

The design of the Flag of the Colony of Victoria was revised by a proclamation issued on the 12th November, 1877 by His Excellency Sir George Ferguson-Bowen, K.C.M.G., Governor and Commander-in Chief in and over the Colony of Victoria and its dependencies – ‘I, the Governor of Victoria, do hereby direct that all vessels belonging to, or permanently in the service of the Government of Victoria, shall wear the Blue Ensign, having in the centre of the fly thereof the distinctive badge of the Colony, viz – “five white stars, representing the constellation of the Southern Cross, surmounted by an Imperial Crown”.’

Following the accession of Edward VII the Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria, the Honourable Sir John Madden, K.C.M.G., informed the Secretary of State for the Colonies on 19th September 1901, that henceforth in referring to Victoria, the word ‘State’ would be used in place of the word ‘Colony’.

Proclaimed 12 November 1877, Government Gazette No 119, dated 30 November 1877 and amended by Despatch No 56, 19 September 1901.

THE CROWN:
The depictions of the crown have varied in accordance with heraldic fashion and the wishes of the monarch of the time. Since 1953 the imperial crown on the State Flag is the St. Edward’s crown.

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Boomerang Test #6. Symbols of Australia
SILVER iii.) Flora and Fauna: Name and describe your State or Territory flora and fauna emblems.

Flora and Fauna emblems

FLORA:
Common (Pink) heath Epacris impresa
The Common Heath is a slender, upright shrub growing to about a metre in height. It has narrow, sharply pointed leaves with tubular flowers growing to about 25 mm in length arranged singularly in between the leaves forming a cluster of flowers to give it a brush like appearance.

FAUNA (Fauna, Avian, Marine):
Leadbeater’s possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri
This possum is a shy small nocturnal marsupial, highly agile and living only in Victoria and habitats within the tall eucalypt forests within Central Victoria. This possum is regarded as one of the rare members of our fauna species. It was originally found in 1867 north of the Wonthaggi area of West Gippsland. With sightings few and far between it was thought that the possum became extinct with last sightings in 1909. It was a great surprise to science when the species was rediscovered near Marysville in 1961.

The Helmeted Honeyeater Lichenostomus melanops cassidix
The attractive Helmeted Honeyeater’s territory is in a small area on Woori Yallock Creek near Yellingbo on the outskirts of Melbourne. The Helmeted Honeyeater has sadly become an endangered species due to being particularly vulnerable to habitat disturbances, as it requires a combination of manna and swamp gums, with tea-trees and shrubby bushes alongside grass-lined watercourses for a balanced existence.

The Weedy Seadragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus
The Weedy Seadragon was chosen as Victoria’s marine emblem in 2002, after a selection process designed to raise awareness about Victoria’s unique marine environment.
These beautifully coloured, dainty and timid animals are part of the Syngnathidae family. They swim slowly and gracefully over kelp forests and seagrass meadows where they shelter. They grow up to 45 cm. Long leaf-shaped appendages along the top and bottom of the body provide perfect camouflage.

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Boomerang Test #6. Symbols of Australia
SILVER ii.) Emblems: Describe the emblem of your State or Territory and show an understanding of what it means.

Victorian Coat of Arms
Shield emblem.

Victoria was the second State of Australia to achieve Arms, following the creation of the Commonwealth in 1901.

A request from the Victorian Government for the laying down of Ensigns of Public Authority for the new State was forwarded through the Colonial Office by a letter of late 1909 to the principal advisor of the Crown in such matters, Garter Principal King of Arms.

The request was put forward that the Arms should incorporate, in one way or another, the elements of the State Badge used in Victoria since 1877. It was hoped that Victoria’s distinctive representation of the constellation of the Southern Cross could figure in the Arms and that the Crown could appear in the crest.

There would appear to have been little difficulty of incorporating these ideas in the total design for, by February of the next year, the State Premier, the Honourable John Murray, gave his approval to a design which had been forwarded by Garter. It is of interest to note that at the same time as indicating agreement on behalf of the Government of Victoria, Premier Murray especially asked that the Crown in the Crest be depicted in it’s Imperial form.

The term ‘Imperial’ has, in heraldic terms, nothing to do with the Empire, athough the Premier may well have thought that it did. It has been so called from the Tudor period. An ‘Imperial’ crown simply means a Crown, the arches of which rise in a dome-like manner to that point where they cross and are surmounted by a small orb and cross. This is in contradistinction to that form of Crown known as ‘St. Edward’s Crown’ where the arches rise to a certain height and then descend again before receiving the small orb and cross at that point where the arches cross. The Imperial form of Crown was popular during the latter part of the reign of Victoria and continued so right down to the accession of Queen Elizabeth II who decided to revert to the St. Edward’s Crown.

By June, 1910 the Royal Warrant assigning the Armorial Bearings was ready and on the 6th of that month, King George V – who had just succeeded to the throne – signed the Warrant and so established the armorial identification of his authority in right of the State of Victoria. The blazon or technical description was as follows –

Arms: Azure, five Stars Argent representing the Constellation of the Southern Cross.
Crest: On a Wreath of the Colours, Argent and Azure, a demi-Kangaroo proper holding in the paws an Imperial Crown Or.
Supporters: Dexter, a Female
Figure (representing Peace) proper vested Argent cloaked Azure wreathed
round the temples with a Chaplet and holding in the exterior hand a
branch of Olive also proper; and Sinister, a like figure (representing
Prosperity) vested Argent cloaked Gules wreathed round the temples with
a Chaplet of Corn and supporting with the exterior hand a Cornucopia
proper
Motto: Peace and Prosperity

In other words, the Shield was blue with five silver stars thereof arranged so as to represent the Crux Australis. Although now met with frequently in Australian heraldry, this is an early example of this particular heraldic charge.

Rising from a Crest Wreath comprising silver and blue alternate twists (the official colours of the State), the Crest is made up of the upper part of a kangaroo shown in it’s natural colours. The beast supports with it’s claws a Royal Crown, in its Imperial interpretation, which is shown gold throughout.

The Supporters, so called from their function of ‘supporting’ the Shield on either side, are human figures. They are both classical in conception. That to the viewer’s left wears a laurel wreath crown and representing, as she does, ‘Peace’ carries a sprig of olive in her hand. The corresponding figure on the viewer’s right is a personification of ‘Prosperity’. She has upon her head a circlet of golden cereal, and with her exterior hand supports a Cornucopia, symbolic of the result of peace.

The image which inspired the Supporters is again expressed in the motto:Peace and Prosperity – interestingly enough, the first motto to be in English among the Arms of Public Authority in the country.

There were no changes for the next half century. However, in 1958 the Pink Heath (Epacris impressa Labill.) was formally proclaimed as the floral emblem of Victoria. This in turn led to a desire that it be included somewhere in the Armorial Ensigns of the State. To this end, correspondence was entered into with Garter King of Arms. The obvious solution was to have the plant shown growing from a grassy mound which would in turn supply a firm base for the two Supporters. Such a mound is called a Compartment in heraldry.

Accordingly, on the 28th March, 1973 Queen Elizabeth II signed a further Royal Warrant which added the desired component out of which the State flower was shown growing. While the remainder of the Armorial Bearings remained essentially the same as in the 1910 Royal Warrant, the opportunity was taken to reinterpret certain of the elements. For example, the Crest Kangaroo now holds a St. Edward’s Crown. Yet again, the interpretation of the female Supporters was more in accord with the current ‘conception of Australian womanhood’ to quote the suggestion put forward at the time by the Premier’s Department.

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The Australian Flag is made up of 3 parts
1.) The Union Jack, in the top inner (hoist) corner.
2.) The Federal Star, the lower inner (hoist) corner.
3.) The Southern Cross on the outer edge (fly).

1.) THE UNION JACK

The Union Jack is the national flag of Great Britain. Each of England, Scotland and Ireland have their own Patron Saints, and the flag is made up of the different crosses which represent those saints.
( A patron Saint is the Saint that is looked upon as the extra-special protector of a country )

St.George of England. (Red cross on a white flag)

St.Andrew of Scotland. (White corner-wise cross on a blue flag)

St.Patrick of Ireland. (Red corner-wise cross on a white flag)

Find out some more about the Saints.
Here’s a start …

Country Saint
Saint’s Day
Floral Emblem Symbol
England St.George
April 23
Rose Dragon
Scotland St.Andrew
November 30
Thistle A fish
Ireland St.Patrick
March 17
Shamrock Bishop’s Mitre

2.) THE FEDERAL STAR
A seven-pointed star located under the Union Jack : the points of this star represent the six states of Australia and the Territories of the Commonwealth.
The Federal Star has seven points; and in the Southern Cross the four larger stars have seven points and are equal in size and the small star has five points. In each star one of the points is at the top.

3.) THE SOUTHERN CROSS

On the fly, or outside edge of the flag are placed five stars representing the Southern Cross (Crux). The Southern Cross was adopted as the badge of the Commonwealth of Australia, as it can be seen from all parts of Australia.

1 – Alpha Crucis
2 – Beta Crucis
3 – Gamma Crucis
4 – Delta Crucis
5 – Epsilon Crucis

Crux “Southern Cross”
-Crux is the small constellation more commonly known as the Southern Cross for the shape made by the four brightest stars. The two bright stars near the Cross, known as the Pointers, are not part of this constellation but are part of the neighbouring constellation, Centaurus.

Centaurus was named after a strange creature, half man and half horse, which was part of Greek and Roman mythology. Alpha Centauri was worshipped by the Egyptians and temples were erected at Corinth and Delphi with special alignment to the rising of this star.

The Southern Cross (Crux) is the signpost of the southern hemisphere, representing as it does, the skies of the southern hemisphere, including Australia, one of the South Pacific nations on whose flag it is featured.

Located in the Southern sky, this distinctive constellation, looking rather like a diamond-shaped kite, is the most famous constellation in the southern hemisphere, and also the smallest. The long axis formed by Gamma Crucis and Alpha Crucis point to the celestial South Pole, making the Southern Cross a celestial navigation point.

The Southern Cross in Australian History

The Southern Cross features in the “fly” of the Australian flag, whose design is based on the English Blue Ensign. The Cross strongly places Australia geographically and has been associated with the continent since its earliest days.

It was first featured in colonial Australian history in December 1854 on the Victorian goldfields, when immigrant miners united together in revolt at the Eureka Stockade against petty officialdom and harassment by a corrupt Police force, who would often ask miners to show their gold digging licences several times a day.

Some 1500 miners protested together at the Eureka Stockade under the leadership of Irishman Peter Lalor. In the early hours of the following morning, when only 120 of the previous night’s volunteers were still present at the stockade, the English Queen’s soldiers and police troopers attacked and 22 diggers were killed, more than 100 were imprisoned and the bullet-ridden Eureka flag was torn down and dragged through the dust. Henry Lawson later wrote “20 minutes freed Australia at Eureka long ago” and American writer Mark Twain, described this lost struggle against tyranny as “another instance of a victory won by a lost battle”.

The Eureka Flag is thought to have been designed by a Canadian digger called Lieutenant Ross (who died defending during the Eureka Stockade defence). According to Frank Cayley’s book Flag of Stars the flag’s five stars represent the Southern Cross and the white cross joining the stars represents unity in defiance. The blue background is believed to represent the blue shirts worn by many of the diggers, rather than represent the sky as is commonly thought.

Leader’s Links:

The Union Jack and the right way to fly it, page 65-68 in
Lord Baden-Powell (1952)
“The Wolf Cub’s Handbook” 12 Edn.
The Boy Scout Association, London.

Flags and Coutries, page 101-103 in
Rogers, O.J. (Ed.) (1977)
“The Cub Book” 2 Edn.
The Scout Association of New Zealand.

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Australia’s first `Federal’ flag was chosen from a national flag competition held in 1901. Initially started by the Melbourne monthly magazine The Review of Reviews for Australasia, the new Federal Government announced a further competition (Gazetted 29 April 1901) and the earlier competition entries were transferred and the prize was increased to 200 pounds. The competition attracted 32 823 entries.

The entry rules for the private competition were highly suggestive and the judging and approval process were such that only a British Ensign with a badge representative of Australia was likely to be a winner.

When the winning flag design was chosen, a review of the entries revealed that five people submitted almost identical designs. These people were declared joint winners and shared the prizemoney. They were:

  • Annie Dorrington, Artist, Perth (1866-1926)
  • Ivor Evans, Student, Haymarket, Melbourne (1888-1960)
  • Leslie Hawkins, Student, Leichhardt, Sydney (1883-19??)
  • Egbert Nuttall, Architect, Prahran, Melbourne (1866-1963)
  • William Stevens, Steamship Officer, Auckland, New Zealand (1866-1928)

Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton, announced the winning design in Melbourne on 3 September 1901. The design had a mixed reception and caused some controversy at the time, on aesthetic grounds as much as its Anglophile nature. The Australian Natives’ Association in particular felt that it was unsuitable or insufficiently patriotic.

The original design was similar to the current flag, except the Federation Star contained only 6 points and the Southern Cross was represented by stars ranging from 5 to 9 points to indicate their relative apparent brightness in the night sky. Also, the field was red for Civil use, with the blue ensign being reserved for Government use only.

The adoption of the winning flag design was never debated in the Australian Parliament – it was sent to the Imperial Authorities in England to be approved. It wasn’t until late 1902 that King Edward VII formally notified the Australian Government of the approval, and this approval was finally Gazetted on 20 February 1903.

The original design has been changed three times since 1901. First, in 1903 the design was changed so that all but the smallest star in the Southern Cross had seven points, ostensibly to improve the ease of manufacture. In 1906 Australia acquired the Territory of Papua, and to indicate this the number of points on the Federation Star was increased to seven in 1908. This second design change was Gazetted on 22 May 1909.

When the Northern Territory and ACT were created as Federal Territories in 1911, the number of points on the Federation Star was not increased and remained at seven. The red ensign remained the Civil flag and the blue ensign the Government flag.

However, the flag still had no legal status beyond the original British Admiralty authorisations which only related to use at sea. It wasn’t until the Flags Act 1953 (enacted 1954) was passed by the Menzies Government that Australia finally had an official national flag, and one that was required to be flown in a superior position to any other national flag (including the Union Flag).

The Flags Act 1953 formally adopted the current design as Australia’s “National Flag” and the Act was assented to by Queen Elizabeth II on her first visit to Australia on 15 April 1954, the first Act of the Australian Parliament to receive assent by the Monarch rather than the Governor General. Finally, more than 53 years after the first design was hoisted, Australia had an official national flag.

Leader’s Links:

Australian Flags
Department of Administrative Services, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1995.

Crux Australis
Anthony Burton (Editor), Flag Society of Australia, Melbourne, Australia.

“History: Whose Version? The use of History in `The Great Australian Flag Debate'”, Kristen Abery, Volume X No 2 April 1994.

“The 1901 Australian Flag Competition: Facts Behind the Myths”, Ralph Kelly, Volume X No 1 January 1994.

The Flag Book
Arthur H Smout, Penpress, Brisbane, 1968.

Flag of Stars
Frank Cayley, Rigby Ltd, Adelaide, 1966.

Flags of Australia (chart)
John C Vaughan, Standard Publishing House, Sydney, 1983.

Flags of the Nations (chart)
Flag Society of Australia, Flag Research Center, and National Australia Bank, Australia, 1992.

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Boomerang Test #6. Symbols of Australia
BRONZE i.) Flags: Show you know the composition of the Australian Flag.
GOLD i.) Flags:
– Teach another Cub to correctly roll, hoist and break the Australian Flag.
– Show an understanding of the different ways of flying the flag, e.g. mourning, distress etc.

Australian Flag
There is a lot more to our National Flag than you might think!

The Australian Flag is made up of 3 parts
* The Union Jack, in the top inner (hoist) corner.
* The Federal Star, the lower inner (hoist) corner.
* The Southern Cross on the outer edge (fly).

CARING FOR THE FLAG

BREAKING THE FLAG
This is a special privilege and you must do it carefully so that the flag flies properly. The ceremony will be poor if the flag does not break! The secret is in the folding (make sure that it is the right way up).

Flying the Flag Flags which are strung together, or hoisted up a flag-pole, have a short rope sewn into the edge nearest the pole (hoist). On the upper end of the rope is a wooden (or metal) toggle, while at the other end is a spliced eye.

Attach the toggle to the upper end of the halyard (flag rope). Hoist the flag until it reaches the top of the mast. The flag is only ever “broken” at the top of the mast, even when it is to be flown at half mast. The flag is “broken” by giving the lower rope a quick, sharp tug.

The flag should only be flown between 8 am and sunset.

At flag-down, it should be lowered steadily. The flag should never be allowed to drag on the ground, but should be caught as it nears the ground.

HOISTFLY

Did you know?

A flag at half-mast … is a symbol of respect for someone who has died.

A flag at flown upside down … is a signal of distress.

In Victoria …
* On a building with one flag pole, the Australian National Flag is flown.
* On a building with two flag poles of equal heights, the Australian flag is flown on the right (observer’s left facing the front of the building). The Union Jack (or State of Victoria Falg for state celebrations) of the same size is flown on the left.
* On a building with three flag poles of equal heights, the Australian flag is flown on the right (observer’s left facing the front of the building). The Union Flag is flown in the centre, and the Victorian State flag is flown on the left.
* On a building with three flag poles the centre pole being higher, the Australian flag is flown in the centre. The Union Flag is flown on right centre (observer’s left facing the front of the building), and the Victorian State flag is flown on the left.
* On a building with four or more poles the precedence from 3 and 4 above apply (gets complicated doesn’t it).

LEADERS LINKS:
The Australian Flag, page 41 in
The Scout Association of Australia (1973)
“Australian Scout Handbook”
The Scout Association of Australia.

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Boomerang Test #6. Symbols of Australia
BRONZE ii.) Emblems: Tell your leader of two places where you would see the Australian Coat of Arms.
GOLD ii.) Emblems: reproduce the Australian Coat of Arms and explain the meaning of each emblem.

The Australian Coat of Arms
There is a lot more to our Coat of Arms than you might think!

The Australian Coat of Arms

There are a lot of symbols within the Commonwealth Coat of Arms. Look for;
* Something from each State in the central shield.
* Which animals are holding the shield? Why?
* What plant is behind the Coat of Arms?

A picture of the Australian Coat of Arms, to colour in.

The supporters of the shield
These are two of our best-known native animals – the kangaroo and emu. They were originally chosen because they are uniquely Australian and are found in most States and Territories. Some people also suggest that these animals were chosen because neither can move backwards easily, reflecting a nation intent on moving forward – to progress.

Australia’s floral emblem
The Golden Wattle, frames the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, with a scroll that says “Australia”. Wattle was chosen because it grows throughout Australia.
Although often seen with the wattle and scroll, it is not officially part of the Coast of Arms.

The Crest of the Arms
A seven pointed gold star on agold and blue wreath. Six points for the states and seventh for the Commonwealth Territories. This is the same star which appears on the Australian flag.

The States
New South Wales : Golden Lion on a red St.George’s Cross, with a star at each extremity of the cross.
Victoria : White Southern Cross on a blue background with an Imperial Crown.
Queensland : Blue Maltese Cross with am Imperial Crown at the centre on a white background.
South Australia : A piping shrike (white backed magpie) with outstretched wings on a yellow background.
Western Australia : Black Swan swimming on a background of yellow.
Tasmaina : Red Lion against a white background.

The Badges on the shield are enclosed by an ermine border, (ermine is a rich fur), signifying the Federation of the States into the Commonwealth.

NOTE: It is an established rule of Heraldry that Arms are personal to the Armiger. They are used by the Commonwealth to authenticate documents, to indicate ownership of property, and for other purposes. They may not be used of reproduced by others without permission.

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