WA Wants to Change Its Flag, as If They’re Not Already Their Own Country

wa flag

People in Western Australia, now officially known as The Republic of Western Australia, are voicing their wishes to change their state’s flag to something a little less colonise-y.

It’s a move we can certainly get behind, and one that appears to be taking off in the wildflower state. The campaign is being spearheaded by the non-profit AusFlag and its director, influential businesswoman Janet Holmes à Court.

Together they have sent an image of the new flag to every state MP, featuring the Southern Cross on a black background and a black swan on a yellow background.

Spurred on by the independence with which WA has approached the pandemic, Holmes à Court, chairperson of Heytesbury Pty Ltd, has said that the state ought to pursue its own ambitions with a flag that truly represents the state.

“We are one of the most multicultural societies in the world,” she said. “The Union Jack doesn’t represent that, nor does it reflect our Indigenous history. I don’t think we need to have a symbol of colonisation on our flag.”

wa alternative state flag
Image: The new flag proposal suggested by AusFlag / AusFlag

Currently, all state flags feature the Union Jack, while both the territories have done away with it. Most are a simple variation on the Australian flag, usually swapping in other symbols for the Southern Cross, and look fairly indistinguishable.

“I’d love to have a West Australian flag that is uniquely West Australian,” Holmes à Court said. “WA has shown courage and independence in the face of this dreadful pandemic. It seems an appropriate time for us to think about having our own flag.”

Along with an image of the proposed flag, AusFlag has also sent a detailed explainer to each of the state’s MP’s, laying out why the colours and the symbolism are significant while detailing how those changes might be brought about.

The yellow in the flag represents the sun, the state’s mineral wealth, and the vast areas of desert within the region. The black swan is the iconic symbol of WA and black and yellow are worn frequently by sports teams from the area.

The WA State Parliament has the power to change the flag through a parliamentary vote and it does not need public approval to do so. However, the issue could be put to public vote within the state if the Parliament chose to do so.

“Is the current flag appropriate in 2022? Does it represent WA or does it represent a bygone era?” said AusFlag’s chief executive, Harold Scruby.

“We’re just asking people to think about it. Should our flag represent another country, or should it represent us? It’s jarring to see State leaders at press conferences standing in front of the Union Jack. This is an incredible opportunity to overcome our mass-myopia, and to create a flag that WA can be proud of.

“The achievement of being the first Australian State to do so would be a true legacy.”

AusFlag also has proposed updated designs for other states and has a number of alternative designs for the national flag too.

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.