Keeping the Commonwealth Star in the Case of Statehood
For more than 100 years ago, dating back to 1908, the seventh point on the Commonwealth Star has represented all Australian resident not residing inside one of the six founding states. The history behind this flag is more than enough to invalidate the idea of changing it if the Northern Territory were to become a state. No matter what might happen to Australia’s borders in the future, this is one change that will cause too much of an expense and disruption to the populous to be a good idea.
In just a few months, the 116th birthday of the flag will be celebrated with the start of Australian National Flag Day on September 3rd. Its design is a combination of elements that remain the same today as they were at first conceptualization in 1901, but many wonder if by Flag Day of 2018 whether an eight-pointed Commonwealth Star can still be featured. Maintaining the status quo has a number of practical reasons, and there is no historical record that might show a reason for any sort of national flag changes.
Remember, Australia’s flag was the very first to be selected with the help of an open public design competition, making it a unique piece of history not found anywhere else in the world. Just months after Federation in 1901, the freshly formed Commonwealth government encourages its residents to “have a go” at designing a flag the entire populous could feel pride when flying. An enormous number of people chose to enter, with nearly one percent of the Australian population at the time sending in their designs.
With more than 33,000 designs entered into the competition, it then became a matter of working through them all for a list of the best. Imagine thousands and thousands of designs, each often featuring local flora and fauna and famous animals, and all of them pouring in over the course of a few months. The winner was revealed on September 3rd, 1901, at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, and that flag has disappeared and not been found since.
Officially claimed as the winning design in 1903 by the Commonwealth Gazette, there is now a nationwide hunt by Allan Pidgeon from Brisbane for this missing piece of Australian history. Rather than changing the old design and causing great expenses and unrest, it might be better to return the original design and original flag to its rightful place. Now that there are a number of Australian territories to consider, one must take all opinions into account.
The Seventh Point
Originally given six points, the Commonwealth Star is a feature meant to indicate the six states that together form the Commonwealth. However, the addition of a sixth point is meant to represent all those Australian citizens who do not live within the borders of one of those states but rather in a territory. Rather than adding more points or otherwise changing the flag, this point is a clear indication that all Australian citizens are represented with the current design, thus making the need for any changes irrelevant and completely unnecessary.