Oceania Briefing— Global


National identity in Australia, Tonga and Fiji's territorial dispute and rugby World Cup headache in New Zealand.

Identity Territory Rugby Australia Tonga Fiji New Zealand

Flagging design


A coalition including more than a dozen Australians of the Year wants to dump the national flag, with its British-heritage Union flag in one corner (the rest of the flag features stars on a blue background). The bid is also adding fuel to a bigger debate: should Australia abandon the British monarchy? Opponents of the flag – mocked as “Britain by Night” by the American comedian Jerry Seinfeld – say it is an embarrassing relic of the colonial era at home and confusing overseas. “It’s time Australia grew…

Other former colonies who made the switch:

1. Canada: The now-familiar Maple Leaf was introduced in 1965, replacing a flag which had previously incorporated the Union Jack.

2. Papua New Guinea: The South Pacific island went through six different designs, each reflecting a period of political history, before its current flag (a bird of paradise against a red and black background) was introduced in 1971.

3. Sri Lanka: The gold lion holding a sword, which forms the main part of Sri Lanka’s flag, was the symbol of the country’s independence movement in the early 20th century.


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