Solomon Islanders flag alternative Aussie standard
A conversation has started in Solomon Islands about an alternative design for the Australian flag which was voted the most popular in a recent Western Sydney University survey of more than 8000 people.
A conversation has started in Solomon Islands around an alternative Australian flag design which was voted the most popular of six designs which featured in a Western Sydney University survey of more than 8000 people over the Christmas New Year period.
The Southern Horizon design, which depicts the Southern Cross and Commonwealth star on a blue background above green and gold waves was the most popular with an alternative Aboriginal flag coming in second.
But Solomon Islands academic Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka who is an associate professor at the University of Hawaii's school of Pacific Island Studies says the flag has striking similarities to his country's standard.
He speaks with Koroi Hawkins.
TARCISUIS TARA KABUTAULAKA: Interesting in that I think 2016 is going to be a flag year in Oceania. We have New Zealand of course, Fiji has proposed to change their flag and Australia, it's very, very similar to the Solomon Islands flag. I don't know what the inspirations are behind that but quite interesting.
KOROI HAWKINS: And even more interesting that most people chose it as their preferred choice of flag with even the Aborginal version of the flag coming second.
TTK: Yeah, that's interesting. I also heard from friends in Australia that they have people with stickers of the new proposed flag and people are putting it on their cars and things. There are some people who would have thought the Aboriginal flag would be something to consider but obviously that's not the case. So interesting to see what the rationale is and secondly I am wondering whether a lot of Australians are aware that there is a flag not far from Australia that is quite similar to this one, and if they do know it would be interesting to see what their response is.
KH: Just going a little bit to the flag design of the Solomon Islands itself, just looking at the two designs - there's the same order of colours, so there's the blue up top, the yellow through the middle and then a green background on the bottom with the stars up above in the blue area. What does that mean for Solomon Islands?
TTK: Well the Solomon Islands flag, the green and the blue are about land, sky and ocean. And the five stars that we have in the Solomon Islands flag represent the five districts that were in place at the time of independence when the flag was designed. The Australian flag, the proposed one, obviously has a bigger star and then the stars in the current Australian flag.
KH: And yes of course there are now nine provincial regions and the yellow strip in the middle is signifying the beach, separating the land and the sea.
TTK: Yes, that's right.
KH: Quite an interesting conversation going on around the region. Fiji designs, that's coming up soon, and also New Zealand, the face off between the two flags coming up.
TTK: Indeed. And the other thing about the Fiji flag, the proposed flags for Fiji, interestingly there is also some borrowing from other Pacific island countries. And one of the designs that is proposed for Fiji really looks like the Nauru flag. So it will be interesting to see what they come up with. But the thing is I suppose people borrow things from each other all the time but the Australian proposed flag, that's very similar to the Solomon Islands flag.
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