Tuesday, January 27, 2009

True Blue

The Stirring Sight Of The Southern Cross

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


These shots were taken about six or seven months ago, during a celebration in Federation Square. I was actually concentrating on several other things that were happening all around me when I saw a woman walk past in this striking waistcoat.

I quickly shot two frames, unposed, while she went about her chores. As soon as she took a breather, I told her that I had photographed her patriotic garb and then showed her each frame on the LCD screen of my camera, much to her delight.

That evening, I was about to upload the shots onto my blog and then I thought I’d put them aside for Australia Day. It’s now two o’clock in the morning on Tuesday 27th January, but it’s still Australia Day (Monday 26th January) in most of the world – and will be for several hours.

The design of the national flag was chosen from more than 32,000 entries submitted by members of the public and based on almost identical sketches sent in by five people, including a teenage schoolboy named Ivor Evans.

It first flew above the Exhibition Building in Melbourne in 1901, the year of Federation. If you want to know why the flag was flown here in my home city and not in the capital, Canberra, there is a very simple answer. The Australian Capital Territory was only founded in 1911, so Canberra did not even exist in the year of Federation.

On the flag, the Commonwealth star is the large white star, while the Southern Cross, so important in Aboriginal tales and the history of this young colony, is represented by five smaller white stars.

And here’s an interesting piece of trivia. Because the Southern Cross is not visible in northern skies, there are no Greek or Roman myths or legends associated with it.


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33 comments:

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Happy Australia Day David!
Great shots!
I see the Southern Cross here very clear most nights... I live high up in the mountains and when the sky is very clear it's full of stars and the Southern Cross is always right above my house.
I wonder if it's possible to take a photo of something like that and whether the stars would be visible?
Maybe I will try that...

RuneE said...

Just one word: CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Artist Unplugged said...

Well, Happy Australia Day to you David and thanks for the history tidbit. Were there parades and celebrations for this day?

lime said...

a belated happy australia day to you!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Happy Australia Day! Very interesting about your flag, I didn't know any of it and I lo ve the piccies.

Daryl said...

Happy Australia Day, Dave!

Moannie said...

Beautiful colours. Oh to see the stars again.
Hope you had a happy Australia day.

jinksy said...

What about Aboriginal or Maori tales? I'd have thought there might be a few...

squawmama said...

Happy Australia Day David! hat was a great photo of the outfit and I loved your story with it... Thanks

(((HUGS)))
Donna

Jazz said...

Happy Belated Australia day... Though it's just noon Monday here.

George said...

Happy Australia Day. Not only did you give us a beautiful picture (actually two) but you also provided some interesting information.

Louise said...

Brilliant photos! I love the commentary,too, especially the part about the Southern Cross not having Greek or Roman mythology tied to it. Not much can fall into that category.

kjpweb said...

Happy Australia Day!
Interesting image and trivia!
Cheers, Klaus

Dina ... UK said...

Hi,
Have a Great Australian Day..

(That's why I have holes in the heels of my shoes)...lol

enjoy your day...

Carol said...

Happy Australia Day David!
Beautiful pictures !

Dughallmor Beagles said...

It's still Australia Day here in the UK (9.53pm) Hope you guys all had a great day! Thanks for visiting my blog David, it prompted me to click through and in doing so I have learned something I did not know! We are hoping to move our family out to Australia in the future :o)
Lovely shots too!

imac said...

Happy day David, great post and you make the most charming model.lol.

Susie of Arabia said...

Nice narrative - thanks!
http://susieofarabia.wordpress.com/

marcia@joyismygoal said...

Yes good day to you what happy bight shots

joan said...

Happy Australia Day! I like your flag!

Carver said...

Happy Australia Day. Great shots of the patriotic outfit and very fitting to be able to post it on your my world post today.

starnitesky said...

Interesting information on the Southern Cross. I hope you enjoyed Australia Day (just realised its all over for you)

Guy D said...

Happy Australia Day, great colors in those pics.

Cheers!
Regina In Pictures

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

A very Happy Australia Day to you David!! I hope I'm not too late! I seem to have made so many friends from Australia this year. You're a friendly bunch!!! Thank you so much for visiting me. I will pop in again to visit you. Enjoy your Pavlova!!
Best,
Catherine

Robert V. Sobczak said...

I'm a bit of a flag aficionado: my favorite one in the states is the state flag of Maryland (it's also my home state, but by far it's also the best). Internationally, I must say the Australian one really grabs my eye: it has a great design and eye catching colors.

gogouci said...

Happy Day to you! Very nice photo of very patriotic garb.

Willow said...

Happy Australia Day!

The first time I saw the Southern Cross in the equatorial sky was Christmas 1980. I was mesmerized! It was so beautiful!

Janie said...

Interesting and appropriate post for Australia Day. After this, I'll be able to visualize your nation's flag by thinking of the Southern Cross.

SandyCarlson said...

That's a lovely frock, David. Great shots.

chrome3d said...

Happy Australia Day. I´ve never seen the Southern Cross, maybe some day.

Marites said...

that's an interesting waistcoat with beautiful colors too. Happy Australia Day! my world is here

Lew said...

Great photos as always! And an interesting origin of the flag. I am enjoying the views of your city as we watch the HOT tennis down under.

Indrani said...

Greetings to you on your Australia day! It coincides with our Republic Day!