Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Opinion

Canberra’s Leading
Relationship Lawyers

An ACT Coat of Arms for our next century

By Steven Squires 3 December 2015 34

An alternative Coat of Arms of the ACT

As the ACT begins its second century, and the Republic is becoming the talk of the town, the ACT Government has a golden opportunity to provide a fitting symbol for Canberra’s next century as a city.

I am referring to the Canberra Coat of Arms (pictured below), whose symbols no longer reflect the values and ideals of the majority of the ACT population. It is time for the ACT Government to initiate a process of public engagement for the design of an ACT Coat of Arms, in the context of Canberra defining itself for its next century.

Replacing the Canberran Coat of Arms with an ACT Coat of Arms would correct an historical anomaly that has meant the ACT is the only major jurisdiction in the Commonwealth that does not have a coat of arms. Members of the ACT’s heraldry society are open to the idea of an ACT Coat of Arms, having the view that the ACT Government is misusing the Canberran Coat of Arms to represent the entire territory.

And given that the ACT voted strongly in favour of a republic in the 1999 Republic Referendum, having pro-monarchy symbols on the Canberran Coat of Arms flies in the face of the values and ideas of the majority in the ACT, who deserve better than the implied loyalty to the British Monarchy in the crowns and motto.

Canberra Coat of Arms

Does the motto “For the Queen, the Law, and the People”, or any of the other monarchist symbols for that matter,  really represent the ideas and aspirations of ACT residents today? I would say that it does not.

The ACT Government has implicitly acknowledged this, using the “CBR” brand more and more, rather than the coat of arms itself. This is in effect saying that the Coat of Arms is an inadequate symbol for the territory.

An ACT Coat of Arms would provide more relevant and meaningful symbolism for the ACT, and could incorporate well-loved ACT icons as in the example pictured at the start of this article. These include the Gang-gang Cockatoo, the Royal Bluebell, Parliament House, and the Brindabella Mountains. If done correctly, it would become a timeless symbol of the ACT, and put our unique culture and environment at the forefront of our symbols.

This has been done before in Australia, as the South Australian government adopted a more culturally meaningful coat of arms in 1984, replacing one created in 1936. The Northern Territory also has an impressive coat of arms, which uses indigenous themes and incorporates every territory emblem (see below).

Northern Territory Coat of Arms

To this end, with the co-operation of other supporters, I have created a Legislative Assembly e-Petition, to help effect change from the Assembly on this issue. If you support this opportunity to create a great cultural icon, please sign the e-Petition.

Steven Squires is Deputy Convenor, ACT Branch, Australian Republican Movement.

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
34 Responses to
An ACT Coat of Arms for our next century
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
mididoom 1:45 am 16 Dec 15

Masquara said :

mididoom said :

Grimm said :

Masquara said :

Isn’t it a bit strange to not believe in knighthoods in Australia, but keep a coat of arms?

I’m glad somebody else sees the comedy in removing references to the commonwealth etc, yet still wants a coat of arms.

It’s not strange, because heraldry is a beautiful artform that has been adapted to many cultures regardless of the political situation. Venice was a republic, but it still used heraldry. Canadian heraldry is a great example of heraldry adapted to work in any culture: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/how-canada-became-home-to-some-of-the-worlds-more-visually-stunning-and-fun-heraldry

Um Canada is a monarchy ….

Yes, I know. Sorry if I was unclear. I was talking about Venice being a republic, but Canadian heraldry catering to many different cultures.

Masquara 7:47 pm 15 Dec 15

mididoom said :

Grimm said :

Masquara said :

Isn’t it a bit strange to not believe in knighthoods in Australia, but keep a coat of arms?

I’m glad somebody else sees the comedy in removing references to the commonwealth etc, yet still wants a coat of arms.

It’s not strange, because heraldry is a beautiful artform that has been adapted to many cultures regardless of the political situation. Venice was a republic, but it still used heraldry. Canadian heraldry is a great example of heraldry adapted to work in any culture: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/how-canada-became-home-to-some-of-the-worlds-more-visually-stunning-and-fun-heraldry

Um Canada is a monarchy ….

mididoom 6:53 pm 15 Dec 15

Grimm said :

Masquara said :

Isn’t it a bit strange to not believe in knighthoods in Australia, but keep a coat of arms?

I’m glad somebody else sees the comedy in removing references to the commonwealth etc, yet still wants a coat of arms.

It’s not strange, because heraldry is a beautiful artform that has been adapted to many cultures regardless of the political situation. Venice was a republic, but it still used heraldry. Canadian heraldry is a great example of heraldry adapted to work in any culture: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/how-canada-became-home-to-some-of-the-worlds-more-visually-stunning-and-fun-heraldry

cabbage 4:58 pm 10 Dec 15

Who appointed the Australian Republican Movement as the arbiter of matters to do with the future of Australian democracy?

shellcase 4:11 pm 06 Dec 15

Sigh …… it’s all rather depressing innit? Anything to take our minds off the poor tv programming over Chrissie-New Year and looming, decades long, tram-induced deficits.

dungfungus 11:12 am 05 Dec 15

“Does the motto “For the Queen, the Law, and the People”, or any of the other monarchist symbols for that matter, really represent the ideas and aspirations of ACT residents today? I would say that it does not.”
I reckon that is about perfect for contemporary Canberra.

No_Nose 1:11 am 05 Dec 15

That is certainly heading in the right direction. I envisioned the Vitriolic Skywhale Rampant to be Supra to the Arms Proper, Aloft in Glory, Magnificently bestowing Blessings upon the Territory.

Oh…and this is no laughing matter. I have finally found my purpose in life.

Steven_Squires said :

Up until now I really didn’t care one way or the other about this.

But after reading your comment I am now passionate about one aspect. I don’t care if you are joking or not, but I am now actively campaigning for a ‘vitriolic Skywhale rampant” on the ACT Coat of Arms. Seriously.

BEST. IDEA. EVER.

In that case, you will get a good laugh out of this picture 😉 https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154089489402334&id=583192333&set=p.10154089489402334&source=47

Acton 11:55 pm 04 Dec 15

Acton said :

In that case, you will get a good laugh out of this picture 😉 https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154089489402334&id=583192333&set=p.10154089489402334&source=47

Brilliant. But here’s a better one to use:
http://www.pixhoster.info/f/2015-12/e342d3962c99d8e5df3433dfdd8196a2.jpg

Steven_Squires 10:33 pm 04 Dec 15

rommeldog56 said :

From the OP “An ACT Coat of Arms would provide more relevant and meaningful symbolism for the ACT, and could incorporate well-loved ACT icons as in the example pictured at the start of this article. These include the Gang-gang Cockatoo, the Royal Bluebell, Parliament House, and the Brindabella Mountains. If done correctly, it would become a timeless symbol of the ACT, and put our unique culture and environment at the forefront of our symbols.”

I dunno – to me that proposed new one looks more like something from a South American banana republic or an ex USSR state……?

You might prefer the version with a blue background, as shown in the link below. But the version in the article is by no means authoritative. There are many forms a new emblem could take. https://m.facebook.com/steven.squires1/posts/pcb.1289008017791257/?photo_id=10204086530757359&mds=%2Fphotos%2Fviewer%2F%3Fphotoset_token%3Dpcb.1289008017791257%26photo%3D10204086530757359%26profileid%3D1647564690%26source%3D48%26refid%3D18%26_ft_%3Dqid.6224388798065581609%253Amf_story_key.1289008017791257%253Atl_objid.1289008017791257%26cached_data%3Dfalse%26ftid%3Du_d_8&mdf=1

Steven_Squires 10:08 pm 04 Dec 15

No_Nose said :

Acton said :

Ok, so if they want symbols that incorporate well-loved ACT icons, then how about:
A Thought Bubble, containing a Tram erased, submerged by imaginary climate change rising sea levels, beneath a vitriolic Skywhale rampant.

Up until now I really didn’t care one way or the other about this.

But after reading your comment I am now passionate about one aspect. I don’t care if you are joking or not, but I am now actively campaigning for a ‘vitriolic Skywhale rampant” on the ACT Coat of Arms. Seriously.

BEST. IDEA. EVER.

No_Nose said :

Acton said :

Ok, so if they want symbols that incorporate well-loved ACT icons, then how about:
A Thought Bubble, containing a Tram erased, submerged by imaginary climate change rising sea levels, beneath a vitriolic Skywhale rampant.

Up until now I really didn’t care one way or the other about this.

But after reading your comment I am now passionate about one aspect. I don’t care if you are joking or not, but I am now actively campaigning for a ‘vitriolic Skywhale rampant” on the ACT Coat of Arms. Seriously.

BEST. IDEA. EVER.

In that case, you will get a good laugh out of this picture 😉 https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154089489402334&id=583192333&set=p.10154089489402334&source=47

No_Nose 5:16 pm 04 Dec 15

Acton said :

Ok, so if they want symbols that incorporate well-loved ACT icons, then how about:
A Thought Bubble, containing a Tram erased, submerged by imaginary climate change rising sea levels, beneath a vitriolic Skywhale rampant.

Up until now I really didn’t care one way or the other about this.

But after reading your comment I am now passionate about one aspect. I don’t care if you are joking or not, but I am now actively campaigning for a ‘vitriolic Skywhale rampant” on the ACT Coat of Arms. Seriously.

BEST. IDEA. EVER.

Acton 2:09 pm 04 Dec 15

Here we go again… yawn. WGAS.
Once again the local Republicans regurgitate their feeble ideas for changing something. Anything.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/quest-for-a-relevant-coat-of-arms-20130814-2rw2s.html

Ok, so if they want symbols that incorporate well-loved ACT icons, then how about:
A Thought Bubble, containing a Tram erased, submerged by imaginary climate change rising sea levels, beneath a vitriolic Skywhale rampant.

dungfungus 10:53 am 04 Dec 15

switch said :

Why is there a white swan on the current one?

Black swans are most appropriate for the current ACT government:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory

dungfungus 10:45 am 04 Dec 15

Masquara said :

Isn’t it a bit strange to not believe in knighthoods in Australia, but keep a coat of arms?

We are different in Canberra.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site