The Alphabet Post_ Saturday Detention for T....

IS FOR The southern cross, 

that great constellation of Stars that is only seen in the southern hemisphere but it also an important icon for Australians.

(Yes, I know, it should really be an S post but I did Skippy last month for S and I really wanted to include a post on The Southern Cross.)

The Southern Cross or Crux

For many Australian it is "our" constellation and it figures prominently in our National Flag and is considered a symbol of freedom from tyranny in the Eureka Flag (but, of course, many other countries also claim it in their flags).

As you can see the flag (which was the result of a competition held at Federation in 1901  - when Australia became a nation and no longer several colonies), is quite symbolic.  In the top left corner there is the Union Jack (our nod to our roots as a British colony and (STILL!) being part of the Commonwealth), under that is the Commonwealth or Federation Star (which represents the seven states/territories) and then to the right "Our" Southern Cross.

The Eureka Flag
"The Eureka Flag is thought to have been designed by a Canadian gold miner by the name of "Lieutenant" Ross during the Eureka Stockade uprising in Ballarat, Victoria, in 1854.
According to Frank Cayley′s book Flag of Stars the flag′s five stars represent the Southern Cross and the white cross joining the stars represents unity in defiance. The blue background is believed to represent the blue shirts worn by many of the diggers, rather than represent the sky as is commonly thought.
The flag above is considered to be the Eureka Flag (a number of variants seem to have existed), as it is the design of the flag torn down at the stockade by Police Constable John King on the morning of the miners′ uprising - Sunday, 3 December 1854. The torn and tattered remains of this flag is kept at the Ballarat Fine Art Museum.
The "Eureka Stockade" uprising was essentially a short-lived revolt by gold miners against petty officialdom and harassment by a corrupt Police force, who would often ask miners to show their gold digging licences several times a day. The miners also objected to the high cost of the licences."

The Eureka flag has no official standing as such but is still in use today by various groups as a symbol of standing up for your rights.

... and who knew but the Mighty Murray River even has its own set of flags, featuring the Southern Cross ....

"The Murray River Flag is flown from paddle steamers and other vessels in the Australian States of New South WalesVictoria and South Australia that ply the waters of the Murray-Darling river system. Little is known about the flag's early history but it may have originated as far back as 1850 when the formation of the Murray River League was announced. R. W. Beddome, founder of the League, enthused "Up with the Murray flag." No fragments of the original Murray River Flag are known to exist and three variants have passed down to the present day."

Upper Murray River

Lower Murray River

 Combined Murray River

Anyway, that is all from me for the Letter T but let me explain what The Alphabet Club is all about ....

  It is the brainchild of Chiara from The Grey Tail and Jo from Serendipitous Stitching and is loosely based on the premise of the movie "The Breakfast Club" - you can see the button for The Alphabet Club on my right sidebar.

On the first Saturday of each month, members of the club have "detention" and have to post about something that will enlighten others about their culture (as blogland is so diverse).  Of course, there should/could be something stitchy in there, if possible (although I seemed to have moved right away from that premise as the months have gone by, instead focusing on boring you all with quirky facts about Australia - lol!)

Each month will be a different letter of the alphabet - hence the club's name - and, of course, we started with "A" and now we are up to "T".

The Alphabet Club




Barb said…
Thia was such a fascinating post about the Southern Cross and all the flags. Thanks for sharing such interesting information.
Kerryp77 said…
Fascinating bit of history there.
Brigitte said…
A great Alphabet Club article.
When I was young I had geographical phases in my book reading and when I had my "Australian phase" I read as much as possible about Australia, fiction and non-fiction. And I also read about the history of Australia and about the Southern Cross. My dream then was to once be able to see it with my own eyes. And it's still one of my dreams ...
Margaret said…
I so enjoy these posts. Now I know more about the Australian flag!
I never knew there were varients of the flag. I also did not know the origin of the stars either.
Another very interesting post from you.
Susan said…
What a great idea - I loved reading your story on our flags - never knew the Murray River had its own flags. Must remember to go back & read your other stories....
Pamela said…
Very interesting! I love to learn new things.
Heather said…
I love the Australia posts :). Great new info!

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