Meanjin radically reimagines the Australian flag

Published:  May 31, 2013
Heath Killen
Meanjin radically reimagines the Australian flag

For a special feature in the new issue of literary journal Meanjin, art director Jenny Grigg has commissioned nine image makers to redesign the Australian flag. The brief was left deliberately open in order to encourage radical interpretations and stimulate discussion about the Australian identity. Accordingly, the results range from deeply personal interpretations, to political statements, to seemingly genuine ideas for a replacement flag.

The debate around the issue of the Australian flag is not a new one, however this is a fresh interpretation – allowing the medium of the flag to be used as a communication tool and a platform for critique. The diverse mix of contributors, including some of Australia’s most celebrated designers, has yielded a collection of thought provoking and left-field approaches.

Harry Williamson’s flag combines the Union Jack with the Aborigional Flag, David Lancashire takes the opportunity to update his iconic Roo series, Kate Banazi blends her psychedelic aesthetic with a message about optimism and risk-taking, and Jason Grant of Inkahoots makes a powerful environmental statement using some of Australia’s classic pop-culture vernacular.

”In reality, it is not practical to think we could change the flag, but there are bigger issues to discuss around issues of national identity that stem from such exercises,” say contributor Dominic Hofstede ”It is not the outcome that is important in such things, but perhaps the discourse it creates.”

Take a look at the full set of reimagined flags below —

David Lancashire


Simon Bent

Dominic Hofstede

Mimmo Cozzolino

Kate Banazi

Brian Sadgrove


Julie Dowling

Harry Williamson

Meanjin Vol. 72, No. 2 (edited by Zora Sanders) is available now. Shown below is the cover, featuring Harry Williamson’s flag wrapped around the front and back of the issue.

Read more information about this project at the Sydney Morning Herald.

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