Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A nation for a continent, and a continent for a nation

Far be it from me to neglect to commemorate the important civil signification of this day: the achievement of Federation, whereby the six colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia (which agreed at the last moment) were brought together to form the Commonwealth of Australia, on the 1st of January 1901:

"Whereas the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and under the Constitution hereby established:

"And whereas it is expedient to provide for the admission into the Commonwealth of other Australasian Colonies and possessions of the Queen: 

"Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—"

As to the flag; while some are not so fond of the Australian National Flag, I've always rather liked it, given my astronomical, historical and religious interests; and if we ever did change, I would prefer the Eureka Flag (stylized Southern Cross, white on blue) over any fatuous green-and-gold boxing kangaroo designs (blehhh!).  

My reasoning?  First, the prominence of the Southern Cross; secondly, the presence of the Union Jack - the combined crosses of St George, St Andrew, and St Patrick.  Even today, I reckon the majority of Australians are of Anglo-Celtic descent; whilst the starry cross of the southern sky has ever caught the attention of Australians.  To have a flag featuring four crosses is a great tho' unremarked Christian blessing, IMHO, alluding as it seems to the Christian heritage and Christian saints of the peoples who settled here, and to Australia as the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit, in whose skies the sign of the Cross shone down for ages before the Gospel first arrived.

And as to "our great friend and ally" – if both last so long, in 2026 Australia will celebrate its 125th, and the United States of America its 250th anniversary, making the former half as old as the latter that year.

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