Aboriginal Flag

 Jesse Brauner
Aboriginal Flag

Although this flag was created less than 50 years ago, the people that it represents are descended from one of the oldest cultures on the historical record.

The Aborigines of Australia have occupied the continent for more than 40,000 years, and their way of life existed relatively unchanged until the 18th century: When Australia became a British colony in 1788, the arrival of Europeans resulted in essentially the same conditions caused by colonization in other parts of the world; subjugation and persecution of the native population, who ended up dying in great numbers from imported diseases.

The status of Aborigines as second-class citizens continued well into the 20th century, and in some ways has still not disappeared. This flag made its debut in Australia in 1971 and was officially declared a national flag in 1995. The black band represents the Aboriginal people themselves; the red band is symbolic of the landscape, which the Aborigines have had a special relationship with for so many millennia; and the yellow circle is an emblem of the sun, signifying its life giving power and protection.

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