Feb 4, 2013

Australia and New Zealand: Sports

Today's post pays tribute to the flags Australians and New Zealanders use on sportive events. The reason is very simple, you need only to look at this:

It isn't a rare occasion: it occurred, for example, in men's indoor cycling last Olympics game (see evidence). That arrangement is derogatorily known as "Great Britain, Little Britain, Littler Britain", and you can imagine why: Australia and New Zealand are among the four British ex-colonies that still use a British ensign (the others are Fiji, which will change the flag soon, and Tuvalu), all in Oceania. To avoid flags confusion, specially when Australia plays against New Zealand, the two countries have their own unofficial sportive flags.

Australian have the "Boxing Kangaroo" flag (this flag also appears without stars and letters):

The kangaroo is the animal symbol of Australia, everybody knows it, and their ceremonial fights inspired this flag. Green and gold are the national colors of Australia, from national floral emblem, the golden wattle.

Inspired by Australian boxing kangaroo, the New Zealanders came with the "Fighting Kiwi" flag.

Black and white are New Zealand national colors, took from the silver fern, New Zealand national symbol. The kiwi is a symbol of New Zealand, and represent the way New Zealanders colloquially call themselves: "Kiwis".

It's how previous podium would look like if the flags hold by supporters were officially used by national teams:

OK, these flags are funny, but maybe inadequate to appear on more serious situations. Luckily, they have other alternatives; New Zealand, for example, use the "Silver Fern" flag, a very popular proposal to a new national flag:

The silver fern is used as emblem of many sportive teams in NZ, and this is, by sure, much better than the "Fighting Kiwi".

For Australia, the Ausflag (a non-profit organization with tho objective of replace Australian flag) proposed a Australian "sportive flag" on the end of last month, so it's too early to know if supporter will massively adopt it. It's the proposed flag:

It combines the Southern Cross of current flag with green and yellow, the Australian national colors, as I said before. Maybe a golden wattle could be an option, but it's harder to work than Kiwi silver fern.

A new podium:

Ending, it's possible national flags variants with the sportive colors; similar designs are often found on audiences:
  • Australia

  • New Zealand

And a podium with those flags:

I want you to comment, please: What's your favorite podium? Would you suggest other flag or other combination?


  1. These flag proposals suck. Also, this will probably be against all national interests and will never happen haha but I think Australia should use blue and gold for our sporting colours instead of green and gold. Blue and gold appears on many australian crests and coat of arms. And 2 of our southern hemisphere neighbours (south africa and Brazil) already use the green and gold. Seems weird having 3 southern hemisphere continents all in a row using the same national colours. That will never happen though so eh, I'm not too fussed, it's just an idea.

    1. Thank you very much for commenting!

      Well, national interests and opinions can change with time ;). And those proposals only exist because Australia national flag never was popular among part of the supporters.

      The sporting colors of Australia has a long history (possibly adopted before Brazil and South Africa did) and a strong association with golden wattle (official Australia's floral emblem), and currently they are even the official Australia's national colors.

    2. The Australian National flag of Stars and Crosses was chosen in a public competition in 1901. The competition attracted a record 32, 823 entries with five winners having identical designs.
      Green & Gold, the colours of the Wattle originally were inspired the Green 'n Gold Irish Harp flag. These colours are widely used by other nations and are deeply religious to some creeds. Red, white and blue are traditional colours of many western democracies .... liberty, equality and mateship. John Vaughan, Vexillographer.

  2. Designs on flags should point upwards when hanging vertically. It is most dishonourable to have devices pointing downwards, an international sign of defeat and retreat! All flags need to have their emblems facing the hoist which represents going forward, advancing to victory! see www.australianflag.org.au


Every comment is greatly welcome!