The Stirring Sight Of The Southern Cross
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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