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Australia: Kangaroo Flag

Last modified: 2011-11-29 by jonathan dixon
Keywords: kangaroo | australia | oceania | boxing kangaroo |
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Boxing Kangaroo

[Boxing kangaroo flag] image by Ralph Kelly

Quoting the Australian Olympic Committee website, 27 September 2009:

“The original boxing kangaroo flag flown on Australia II when it won the America’s Cup in 1983 is on its way home to Australia. The flag was discovered recently hanging in O’Brien’s Bar in Newport Rhode Island by Australia II crewman John Longley. Today, another Australia II crewman, Skip Lissiman, accepted the flag and presented the bar with a new BK flag signed by the crew who rested the auld mug New York Yacht Club 26 years ago to the day. The Australian Olympic Committee which owns the rights to the boxing kangaroo has agreed the original flag will be donated to a museum of the crew’s choice.”
Ivan Sache, 28 September 2009

Since that time, the flag and its variants have been widely used by fans at sports events i addition to and as an alternative to the national flag. As well as being more distinctive, it uses the traditional sporting colours of green and gold. According to Ralph Kelly's description at the Flags Australia website, the boxing kangaroo emblem which was the promotional mascot for the America's Cup campaign has antecedents in images painted on some Royal Australian Air Force aircraft in World War II.
Jonathan Dixon, 1 October 2009


Variant including the Southern Cross

[Boxing Kangaroo flag with southern cross] image by Jorge Candeias

A variation of the Boxing Kangaroo that includes the Southern Cross in its design. I had never seen this before. Is it used?
Jorge Candeias, 01 June 1999

I think I have seen Boxing Kangaroo flags with the SC, I'm not sure. I wouldn't be at all surprised if some manufacturers included it, we love a good Southern Cross down here. Again, there's no official design specifications for the flag so there are bound to be variations, although the first one on this page is the commonly seen one. On the subject of usage, I don't know about other Aussies on the list, but I haven't seen a Boxing Kangaroo flag of any kind for a while, maybe the odd one at a sporting match.
Dylan Crawfoot, 01 June 1999

There is another variant with a less cartoonish kangaroo facing the fly with a gold southern cross similar to that on the national flag, in the fly.
Nozomi Kariyasu and Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg September 2000

In the highlights of the 2006-7 Ashes series (Australia v England in cricket), as well as the national flag and the green and gold variant, I saw quite a few boxing kangaroo flags. Most of them seem to be a version similar to that described by Nozomi and Peter Hans, with the kangaroo in the hoist facing a yellow southern cross in the fly. In this case, the southern cross is mainly in the top part of the fly, with the word AUSTRALIA appearing below and slightly flywards.
Jonathan Dixon, 4 December 2006


National Flag with Kangaroo

During the Olympic Sabre final, I saw a variant on the Boxing Kangaroo theme. It was the Australian flag with the Southern Cross slightly displaced to the left as to permit the addition of a yellow kangaroo from the waist up, facing the hoist. I haven't seen any others exactly like it, but it wasn't homemade.
Marc Pasquin, 25 September 2000

At the triathlon, there was someone waving an Australian flag with a boxing kangaroo, and 'smudges' of green around the edges.
Jonathan Dixon, 16 September 2000

A Kangaroo Flag at the Olympics

A flag seen several times during the Olympics is quarterly green and gold. The green quarters have an outline-style drawing (in gold) of a kangaroo facing the hoist, with gold outlines of stars forming the southern cross behind/around the tail. The gold quarters have the green text 'Go!' written three times in each quarter.
Jonathan Dixon, 24 September 2000


Use by Shipping Companies

When Dawn Shipping Pty. Ltd. was formed in 1984 to operate a cargo service across Bass Strait, it was announed in The Log 11/1984 that vessels would be flying the “Fighting Kangaroo” flag. Whether it as meant to be a house flag is not clear from the report, but as the service never commenced operations it does not matter. The flag was seen flown by the Express of Howard Smith Ltd in November 1990, but as an Australian symbol only.
Neale Rosanoski, 12 March 2010