re the current National Anthem "Advance Australia Fair" and Bruce Woodley's "I am Australian" ( "We are One, we are many..."). Personally , I prefer "I am Australian"to be our National Anthem, in lieu of the current "Advance Australia Fair" and this has been raised in the Commonwealth Parliament on a number of occasions.
I think that "I am Australian" is a more inclusive and happy song than "Advance Australia Fair" which has unfortunately proven to be immemorable by a large number of Australians, its wording is contemporary of its time ( 1878 ), and whilst it is possible to potentially change its wording, its tenor is still of the 19th century. Having said that, I also agree that it was preferable to "Waltzing Matilda", which was the other popular choice in the 1977 referendum.
I also think there has been a shift in what people expect of a National Anthem. Once it needed to be glorious and patriotically uplifting , such as France's "La Maiseillaise" or Germany's "Deutches uber alles" ( which is pretty appalling even now ), whereas now I suspect that people would prefer something that is happy and uplifting without the "necessity" to be patriotic or bombastic.( And before anyone mentions "God Save the Queen / King" , that song is originally German, and was not intended to be a National Anthem, but rather the musical announcement of the arrival of the Monarch ! )
With reference to the ACT Territory flag, there has been some debate as to whether the current coat of arms emblem should be replaced with a stylised Royal Bluebell ( Wahlenbergia gloriosa ), which is the ACT's floral emblem and which would be a lot easier to reproduce, and be more distinctly visible from a distance.
The Northern Territory flag emblem is a stylised Sturt's Desert Rose ( Gossypiam sturtianum ), which is the NT's floral emblem.
One Advance Australia National Reconciliation Ensign ( which is a subsidiary flag to a national flag ) proposal that I have seen has a dark red top left hand corner, with the rest of the flag being black with a gold Southern Cross superimposed, the black dividing line between the dark red and the black is a stylised kangaroo profile ( http://www.newaustralianflag.squarespace.com
), designed by Russell Kennedy, and illustrated by Nigel Buchanan.
The essence of a good flag design should be a distinct, and instantly recognisable design, that is simple, uncluttered, not to be mistaken for something else, and recognisable from a distance. The famous Canadian Maple Leaf flag of 1965 achieves all of this, which makes it rather difficult to match in its elegant simplicity.
Ausflag has been running annual new flag design competitions for decades now, and very few entries seem to meet the above essence of good design, at least in my opinion. This may partially explain the underwhelming interest in each years "winning" design.
The two most common design elements are the Southern Cross with the seven pointed Federation Star, or a kangaroo, in various poses and stylising, with or without either the Federation Star or the Southern Cross, and frequently submissions also try to squeeze in a boomerang as well !
The problem with the kangaroo being on a flag is that it's shape disappears when the flag is fluttering, which is less of a problem for the stars. White ( actually silver ) stars on a dark blue background is distinctive, but just having the stars on a blue background appears to be bland when compared to the current flag's use of red within the Union flag currently in the top left hand corner of the existing flag.
Another option has been the use of a red boomerang on a white background to seperate the Federation Star in the top left hand corner from the Southern Cross on the right hand side ( the fly of the flag ). So you can now see some of the practical visual problems flag designers have in creating a design which will be popular.
The other design problem has been to create a design where the alternate Ensign background colours ( Marchant Ensign Red, Navy White, RAAF Light Blue and Civil Aviation Pale Blue with a Dark Blue Cross ) can also be accommodated, and still look elegant !