Australia Symbols

Australia's symbolic language, while drawing on the country's British origins, also incorporates many of the unique features of the continent, leading to an interesting contrast between the traditional European symbols of the United Kingdom and symbols based on the flora, fauna, and geography that are unique to Australia.

The flag of Australia is actually a modified version of a British flag, the modifications marking it as unique. The top left corner bears the Union Jack, the flag of the United Kingdom, showing Australia's history as a British colony. Underneath that is a star known as the Commonwealth Star, which originally had six points, matching the original six federative colonies. However, a seventh point was added when the Territory of Papua came into existence, and now represents it and any other territories that come to be. To the right of the Union Jack is a depiction of the Southern Cross, often featured on flags in the southern hemisphere. It's a symbol of Australia's distinct differences from its parent land in the northern hemisphere.

The coat of arms of Australia is notable especially for its bearers - where most coats of arms would have lions or eagles or the like, Australia has a kangaroo on one side and an emu on the other, representing some of the most notable examples of Australian fauna. Popular myth has it that the two were specifically chosen because they can go only forward, not back (although this is a misconception about both animals). The shield borne by the animals bears the badges of each of the Australian states. Above the shield is the Commonwealth Star, as described just above. The background depicts a wreath of Golden Wattle, which is the official flora of Australia, and underneath is a scroll naming the nation. The fusion of traditional heraldry with the unique flora and fauna of Australia leads to a truly striking combination.

Australia's national gemstone is particularly notable - the country is famous in part for its amazing supplies of opal, and the beautiful, unique gem is therefore strongly connected to Australia. Many communities across Australia are supported by opal mining, with the gem being a cornerstone of the economy. This strange and precious jewel is yet another thing that makes Australia stand out from the rest of the world, and its status as a representative of Australia makes only perfect sense.

Australia represents a blending of European heritage and unique culture and life, resulting in something amazing, and its symbols reflect that fact.