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Waverley Council (New South Wales, Australia)

Last modified: 2015-06-22 by ian macdonald
Keywords: waverley | bondi beach | southern cross | stars: southern cross | stars: 8-pointed | sun | beach | sun |
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Waverley Council Beaches Flag/Bondi Beach Flag

[Waverley Council Beaches Flag] image by George Poulos, 12 Nov 2009

I am the creator and copyright holder of the Waverley Council Beaches Flag. This flag was adopted by Waverley Council as the official flag for Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama Beaches on the 29th July 1998. It is commonly called the "Bondi Beach Flag".

The flag’s official day of celebration is the day of the Spring Equinox – 23rd September – Rising Sun Day. Its symbolism is 12-fold:

  1. The flag is literally a view of Bondi Beach looking north to Ben Buckler point, with a foreshortened beach as its foreground.
  2. The flag is symbolic of the Waverley Beaches - Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte. All three beaches can be construed as natural Temples of the Sun. The flag is meant to celebrate beach culture - out of which a great deal of the Australian sense of identity has emerged.
  3. The Australian Sun had been a prime icon in Australian history long before 1971, when Harold Thomas’s Aboriginal flag made us aware of the importance of this prime icon once again. The rising sun was the key signifier for the bush worker – the shearer, stockman, etc, the fons et origo – the originator - of the Australian sense of identity.

    Beginning in the 1840’s a Rising Sun adorned many functional everyday items, and objects d’art... [George gives as examples of more use of the emblem the crests of the coats of arms of South Australia, New South Wales, many local governments, including Waverley and Woollahra, the Bank of New South Wales, the badges on the Western Australian and South Australian flags, 19th century Labour banners including the 8-8-8 banner signifying 8 hours work, 8 hours rest and 8 hours recreation, federation symbols, the cricket team coat of arms, and the Army “field of bayonets” rising sun icon representing the hopes for the new society being formed in Australia.] The Waverley Council Beaches Flag is meant to make us more fully aware that the Australian Sun is the prime icon of not only our own beach’s culture, but the entire nation as well.

  4. The Rising Sun on the flag is the same rising sun that is the honour point of the Waverley Council Coat of Arms
  5. The red also signifies the terra-cotta roofs in Waverley - the most densely populated area in Australia. Note that houses and red roofs also feature prominently on the 1859 Waverley Council Coat of Arms.
  6. Australian demography. Australia can be understood as a red centre - where less than 20% of the population lives, surrounded by a golden periphery - where more than 80% of the population lives. It celebrates the fact that demographically, 80% of Australians live very close to the “S” words - Sea, Sun, Surf, Sky, and Sand …..under the Southern Cross.
  7. The stars used are all 8-pointed as per almost of the important Australian flags of the 19th century including the Eureka Flag, The Anti-Transportation League Flag, The NSW Ensign, and the Federation Flag. The stars have been enlarged, empowered, squared up in their design and given a much more fused relationship in order to provide a sense of the Eureka flag. The “free form” nature of the southern cross on the current flag of Australia has been retained however, in order to provide a continuity with the current Australian flag, which derives from the Victorian ensign (1870).
  8. By use of the colors red and gold, the Australian Surf Life Saving movement . The Bondi Surf Lifesavers, from the 1920s to the 1950s also wore a swim suit which featured a rising sun logo. This swim suit has been revised in the 1990s.
  9. Signifies all Australian Beaches.
  10. Signifies all Australian Harbours, Lakes and Billabongs. In fact all large bodies of water. Acknowledges the fact that with the inclusion of the Australian Antarctic Territory, Australia is the trustee of the largest body of ocean in the world. The flag also confirms that Australia is “girt by sea”.
  11. All Southern Hemisphere beaches.
  12. Gallipoli Beach. Of course it is the FIRST, and ONLY Gallipoli Beach Flag devised in Australian history.

The enclosed nature of the beach indicates how protected and relatively safe it is to swim in. It also indicates the very close sense of community that exists around Waverley Beaches.

The red land mass is curved, so that it also connotes a wave breaking onto a shore.

The white line of surf that gets larger as it moves to the fly - indicates how waves build up momentum as they approach the beach.

This flag is now flying on the 25 banner poles along Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach. The display is the longest and largest display of an ensign, not the national flag of Australia, in the history of the country.

Some have indicated that either flag could/should substitute for the current national flag. Clearly the design brief to represent Bondi, Gallopoli, and Australian beaches, is far too limited to encompass the Australian sense of identity. The flag forms the perfect template however, for a future Australian flag.
George Poulous, contributed 12 November 2009