Monday, December 14, 2009

Flag your ideas

Flag your ideas

Sunday Tasmanian (Australia) - Sunday, December 6, 2009
Author: Danielle McKay
The Sunday Tasmanian 's recent front-page report about Denison MHA Lisa Singh's call for a new Tasmanian flag sparked a wave of letters-- some critical, some complimentary. Danielle McKay explores the mood for change

CAN you imagine a Tasmanian flag with a Tasmanian devil on it? A butterfly perhaps? Or even a blue gum?

These are just some of the dozens of suggestions that have flooded into the office of Labor MHA Lisa Singh since her call early last month for a new Tasmanian flag .

Ms Singh raised the contentious issue during Celebrate Tasmania Day on November 8. She suggested removing the imperial lion, which has been part of the flag since its creation in 1869, because it was antiquated and irrelevant, replacing it with a unique Tasmanian symbol.

Ms Singh said she had received a mass of support, which had firmed her views.

``I believe the Tasmanian devil should be represented on the flag instead of the lion and I want to put that forward as a firm proposal,'' she said.

``The reasoning is that I believe, given the very real threat faced by devils from the facial tumour disease, we must do everything we can do to promote it.

``There is no more appropriate symbolic demonstration of our commitment to the survival of the devil than to have it featured on our flag .''

Long-standing Tasmanian devil campaigner Nick Mooney said the devil would be ideal regardless of the current disease battle.

``The main decision should be around getting away from the stupid bloody lion and getting something that is relevant on there,'' Mr Mooney said.

``The devil would be a great option, but there are also other great options like the blue gum, waratah, wattlebird, swift parrot, native-hen or eastern quoll.

``Having an endemic plant or animal would be great. It's Tasmania's flag and the symbol should be Tasmanian .''

However, staunch monarchist and Liberal stalwart Michael Hodgman said the flag should be left alone.

``The Tasmanian flag is a historical feature, much older than the Australian national flag ,'' Mr Hodgman said.

``The use of the red lion passant in the flag from the British coat of arms reflects the fact that when the colony of Tasmania was established, we inherited some key foundations as to how we are governed.''

Mr Hodgman said the lion was important because it reminded Tasmanians of the rule of law, the system of being innocent until

proven guilty, the supremacy of parliament over the executive government of the day and the separation of powers.

``Anyone who understands and cares about our state's history realises the symbolism of what it represents,'' he said.

Australian National Flag Association state president Reg Watson said he had not met one person who supported the change.

``I'm amazed by how many people are commenting on the issue,'' Mr Watson said.

``Maybe it's the circles I move in but not one person has supported a change.

``It has renewed my drive to protect our symbols from further change, knowing that I'm acting on behalf of what I believe is the majority of Tasmanians .''


Anonymous said...

Here's my idea:

tassieblather said...

Thanks Simon, I think this is an oh so funny two headed Tasmanian reference.

Anonymous said...

How about a tassie devil,holding a trident as a riding crop, riding on top of a tassie tiger with a southern cross in the top RH corner and the lot distorted in appearance like it's getting sucked into a black hole.