Monday, February 11, 2008

Early Days, Sorry Daze

Charlie got a Style Guide which has the land rights flag with the top colour as a very dark purple. Is that right? Everyone's gone ga-ga with this sorry business - broadcast at Fed Square and here at my work. Not sure how I feel about this sorry business. Though I remembered this morning one Christmas Day, years ago, down by the river in Eltham, hearing a story from Milly, who was taken from her family, about the revolting food they were given at the orphanage or whatever they called those places where all the kids were institutionalised.

Thinking about the flag.

"I wanted to make it unsettling. In normal circumstances you'd have the darker colour at the bottom and the lighter colour on top and that would be visibly appropriate for anybody looking at it. It wouldn't unsettle you. To give a shock to the viewer to have it on top had a dual purpose, was to unsettle... The other factor why I had it on top was the Aboriginal people walk on top of the land. It's an obvious fact as well. So it had - that was the reason why the black was on top was visibly unsettling and because of how I was trained at art school, not to make things too obvious but to have a bit of a shock but also to say that the people walk on the land."

So said Harold Joseph Thomas, who designed the flag in 1971.

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