Australian Capital Territory Flag History
The first proposals for a distinctive Australian Capital Territory (ACT) flag were made in 1983. over the years and after more discussions, design proposals were sought in 1992 for an ACT flag. Five proposals were created, all incorporating a modified version of the Canberra coat of arms and the colours blue, yellow, and white. A referendum was held in early 1993, and the results were announced to the public on March 12, the 80th anniversary of the founding of Canberra; the new flag became official on March 31.
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ACT Coat Of Arms
A coat of arms was created for Canberra, Australia’s Capital Territory, in 1928. It consisted of black and white swans (representing, respectively, Aboriginal and European people) bracketing and supporting a shield. On the shield was a castle gate that recalled the arms of the City of Westminster, London, and, hence, the British Parliament. Other symbols included a sword, a royal mace, a castle, and the white rose of York – all commemorating the first Australian parliament in Canberra, opened in 1927 by Prince Albert, duke of York, later King George VI. In 1929 the arms were used unofficially on a red flag to represent the city; the flag background was later changed to blue. Source Britannica
Floral Emblem Of ACT
The Australian Capital Territory declared the royal bluebell as the floral emblem on 26 May 1982 by the Hon. Michael Hodgman, the Minister for the Capital Territory. Native occurrence in the Australian Capital Territory was the main criterion accepted by the committee but other desirable features sought in a ranked list of recommendations included horticultural merit and design potential, both in naturalistic and stylised representations.
Wahlenbergia gloriosa is a small perennial herb with oblong leaves about 2.5 cm long; the leaf margins are conspicuously waved. The violet-blue flowers are up to 2-3 cm in diameter and often appear to have a paler centre due to the light blue base of the petals combined with the purple style which ends in two white stigmas. The flowers may be erect or nodding and are carried on long slender stems.
Royal Bluebell occurs mainly in sub-alpine woodland in the Australian Capital Territory, south-eastern New South Wales and Victoria. It is legally protected throughout its occurrence in the wild. The announcement of the Royal Bluebell as the floral emblem brought the Australian Capital Territory to a position equal to that of the Australian States and the Northern Territory. The Royal Bluebell has been enthusiastically adopted by community groups and craftsmen seeking a symbol of the Australian Capital Territory.
Bird Emblem of ACT
The ACT does not have an animal emblem but the Gang-gang Cockatoo was adopted as the faunal emblem for the ACT on 27 February 1997. Canberra is the only city in Australia where these distinctive ash-grey cockatoos live. During winter small flocks are common in gardens around the city where they feed on pine cones, firethorn and hawthorn berries.
Credit JJ Harrison / Wikimedia
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