Talk:Coat of arms of Australia

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Sorry I have removed the following - this is simply not true... (cute story though)

The menu of many popular Australian restaurants feature a dish named The Coat of Arms. It is served on a plate with slices of kangaroo meat arranged on the left hand side, emu meat on the right hand side and usually vegetables in the centre.

MinorEdit July 1, 2005 07:24 (UTC)

I know of at least 3 restuarants in my area which offer this meal. Perhaps 'many' is an exageration, but anyone who says it's not true either doesn't live in Australia or simply doesn't get out much. --jmd 00:09, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

I have not heard of the Coat of Arms dish, but Coat of Arms pie is sufficiently normal here that it scarcely raises a smile unless you are describing it to a tourist (though it's pretty routine, we recognise it to be funny!)Johno (talk) 02:56, 16 July 2008 (UTC). —Preceding unsigned comment added by SwordBrother777 (talkcontribs) 02:54, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

CoA vs Badge[edit]

Should read "badge" not "arms" when referring to the symbols of the states on the shield. These are the badges as used on the state flags and not the arms.

Thanks for pointing that out. I've made the necessary corrections.--cj | talk 01:49, 20 November 2005 (U


Croat migrant's invention[edit]

I recall reading in Croat dijaspora media many years ago that today's Australian coat of arms was bought? from a Croatian immigrant who was using as his own coat of arms. Does any have anymore information/sources to verify if this is accurate or not?

Cheers, croatian_quoll 05:56, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

The story is that an Australian wine maker who migrated from Dalmatia used a very similar coat of arms as the insignia for his label. Politicians enjoyed drinking his wine and when the question of an Aussie Coat of Arms came up, a modified version of his logo was used. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:50, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Different versions[edit]

I am very much interested to see both a 1908 and a 1912 version of the coat of arms, with appropriate captions. GilliamJF 20:34, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

The 1908 version is on the main page. While I don't have any official versions I do have some photographs taken recently of a monument to federation from Stawell Victoria which was unveiled in 1903. It may not be an official government monument and the stone work may have just been done by a local stonemason, but in the coat of arms the kangaroo and emu have their bodies facing away from the shield, but their heads turned back towards it. The scroll also contains the words "Advance Australia". It's a very simple outline drawing. MaxwellTJ (talk) 03:29, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

cross of saint george[edit]

"The shield had a white background, with a red cross of Saint George, "

The linked to page then explains:

"The Cross of St. George should not be confused with St. George's Cross, the flag of England"

I fixed the link. It's not really fair to say that the wording only refers to the decoration. JPD (talk) 11:01, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Can't Walk Backwards[edit]

Many website seems happy to reproduce the factoid that "kangaroos cannot walk backwards", however someone here disputes this:

In any event, it needs a credible reference stating they can't walk backwards (do they walk at all). It also needs a credible reference that that was a reason why they were chosen for the coat of arms. As for emus, can any birds walk backwards. Asa01 (talk) 08:15, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Arms of Her Majesty[edit]

A recent edit changed the name at the top of the infobox to The Arms of Her Majesty in Right of Australia. The official government site on the coat of arms doesn't anywhere use this phrase, however, and instead refers to the Commonwealth Coat of Arms. Is there a citation for the alternate name? --Delirium (talk) 06:21, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

The argument that the Royal Arms of the UK are only the appropriate arms of HM in right if the UK , and the arms granted to a colony/dominion/state are the appropriate arms for HM in that right is made by groups such as the Canadian heraldry society. It was also made in parliamentary enquiry about the use of the British arms in NSW, and it would seem that the State Arms Act was passed at least partly on the basis of this argument. It seems reasonable, but I don't think it has ever been officially expressed either in Canada or Australia. In the Australian case, I also don't know that the name "Arms of Her Majesty in Right of Australia" has ever been used outside Wikipedia, and in any case, even if not original research, it would be silly to suggest that this is the best name to use for the arms. They were granted as arms of the Commonwealth, and usually referred to as such. JPD (talk) 00:18, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

They are most appropriately The Arms of Her Majesty in Right of Australia as H.M. remains Australia's head of state and is thus the armiger. Whilst the term H.M. Government is rarely heard in Australia today, the Commonwealth Government still is formed at Her Majesty's pleasure. The Queen is the legal embodiment of the Commonwealth, hence the term "the Crown", and in all legal matters the Commonwealth Government is represented as "Her Majesty in right of the Commonwealth of Australia". Whilst Australia remains under the Crown the legitimacy, power, and legal status of the Commonwealth is technically derived from it - the Commonwealth absent of the crown is not a legal entity. On a simpler note and avoiding further discussion of Australia's constitutional foundation, it should be noted that H.M. flies a banner of the arms, as their rightful armiger, when representing Australia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vox latina (talkcontribs) 05:31, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

More relevant for this article, though, is what term is actually used for the coat of arms. I am unable to find any sources that indicate that "The Arms of Her Majesty in Right of Australia" is a term that is actually in use, either by The Queen or Her Government. --Delirium (talk) 17:20, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Delirium makes the main point, but I will also point out that the Queen actually flies a banner of the arms defaced with her personal emblem, so it is not quite as simple as you suggest. JPD (talk) 23:51, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

What is the problem with the SVG version of the Coat of Arms?[edit]

For the last couple of days, my edits on the coat of arms of australia, have been reverted to the former png version. I demand to know why has this happen, and why is the SVG version supposedly "unsuitable" to appear on a wikipedia article about Australia and it's coat of arms?! --Oren neu dag (talk) 17:17, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Quite simply, the svg versions that have been uploaded are vastly inferior to the official version that Australia uses, as I've stated in my edit summaries. One only has to compare them to see why.
Original, official Coat of Arms
SVG version
The emu in particular is quite different to the original, both in colour and shape of the head. The head and ears of the kangaroo are different. "AUSTRALIA" is different. The colour of the boughs that the kangaroo and emu are standing on is quite different. The Federation Star is drawn as a bland, 2 dimensional object, rather than 3 dimensional as in the original. These are just a few of the most obvious problems. The image currently used in the article is the actual CoA. We shouldn't be replacing it with a vastly inferior version, especially in this article.
I won't be so rude as to demand it, but I would like to know why you insist on replacing the CoA with the inferior version. You haven't bothered to do so in edit summaries. --AussieLegend (talk) 23:45, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
I guess I just wanted to know what's the difference between the two versions. I have to admit btw that as a non-aussi I wasn't even aware to the distinctive differences that you pointed out to me. but now that I know of them, i'll do my best to try to emulate the original CoA. --Oren neu dag (talk) 11:25, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
You might care to read this information which states "The Commonwealth Coat of Arms must be reproduced accurately. The officially approved variations of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms can be downloaded". --AussieLegend (talk) 12:03, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Both versions are, however, heraldically correct; they both follow the blazon. And SVG is preferable. roux ] [x] 19:47, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. It's clearly different to the original. If anything is to be in SVG it has to be very very close the the original. Bidgee (talk) 19:54, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Bidgee, differences exist between different artistic renderings of a blazon. In heraldry, the blazon is the only important thing. Think of a blazon as HTML--it states what elements must be displayed on a page. Think of the coat of arms as an individual monitor--the monitor's size, resolution, and colour settings will modify the display of the blazon, but the underlying code will be identical. For a case in point, see Coat of arms of Canada; the blazon (apart from adding the Order of Canada) hasn't changed since 1921, but successive artistic versions have been subtly different in style and composition. Saying that both versions are heraldically correct means that both follow, to the letter, the instructions given in the blazon. roux ] [x] 22:58, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Although that's true as far as heraldry goes, in the specific case of Australia's government, they seem to have gone a step further and made a set of "officially approved variations". So other variations would be heraldically correct, but not following the preferred form of Australia's government, which is a different kind of correct I suppose. --Delirium (talk) 23:09, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, but our job isn't to do what the Australian gov't says. Both versions are correct, and SVG images are preferred wherever possible. roux ] [x] 23:13, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Given that the Australian Government owns the CoA we are obliged to comply with the requirements regarding use. If we're not going to use accurate representations we may as well use none at all. --AussieLegend (talk) 23:34, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure how obliged we are to comply with the requirements (Australian law isn't really enforceable over Wikipedia), but insofar as the article is supposed to accurately represent the coat of arms, it makes sense imo to use an image that looks like the ones in official/common use, as opposed to inventing our own depiction, even if heraldically correct. --Delirium (talk) 23:54, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually I think you'll find that Australian law is enforceable over Wikipedia. There is various caselaw supporting this. One example that immediately comes to mind (although I don't have a reference at hand) is a case where an Australian citizen who had never left the country and didn't even have a passport was arrested by Australian police because he had been charged under US law for piracy. The last I heard he was still in gaol awaiting extradition. Australian courts refused to release him. Of course this is tangential to this discussion. The point I'm trying to get across is that laws do cross national boundaries. --AussieLegend (talk) 00:10, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, Wikipedia policy is generally to ignore such national laws, otherwise we wouldn't be able to publish nearly anything at all about places like China, and we don't want to have to draw up a list of "countries whose laws we'll ignore" vs. "countries whose laws we'll follow". Australia's government is also exceedingly unlikely to try to haul Wikipedia into court, since that would backfire on them quite spectacularly, so it's mostly a moot point. --Delirium (talk) 00:18, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
I think you have a rather unrealistic opinion of the importance of Wikipedia in the real world. There is nothing that Wikipedia could do that would backfire on Australia at all, let alone spectacularly, especially in the case that Australia was simply trying to legally protect its national symbols. Anyway, as I said, this is tangential to the discussion so we should spend no more time on this. The more important point, as we've both stated, is that we accurate reproductions, especially in this article, rather than our own depictions. It makes more sense to use the accurate reproduction, especially when the Australian government makes such reproductions publicly available.[1] --AussieLegend (talk) 00:35, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Definitely prefer the 1912 version. Ncmvocalist (talk) 04:19, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
The 1912 version (the PNG) is the one that is demonstrably out of copyright. Many more recent renderings are still in copyright. Who knows the date of the original that this SVG was copied from? It's not supplied anywhere on the image page or at the source. --bainer (talk) 22:53, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
According to the source page, the image is "© 2002-2008", which is only 6 years at most. The terms of use for the image state:
Use here of the derived works here and at commons would seem to be a breach of's copyright and TOU. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:44, 28 October 2008 (UTC)


I finally received a reply to an enquiry that I made on 28 October 2008:

Bolding added for emphasis. --AussieLegend (talk) 13:21, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

This note is added some months after the above discussion took place, and the particular svg file referred to above no longer exists, but there is currently another svg version of this coat of arms, occupying 10.32 MB, and there is a png version at 640 KB. Displaying the svg image at full size can cause a browser to slow down to virtual standstill for several minutes. Using the svg version is grossly wasteful of storage space and bandwidth. JamesBWatson (talk) 14:40, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Thought I'd join in on this conversation. First of all, the letter above says the arms are not PD, but that conflicts with Australian licensing, so I'm not sure which to believe. Even then, the arms are being used in an educational way, instead of a commercial way, so they do not violate copyright anyway. Regarding the files themselves, I agree that the current SVG is not an acceptable representation, however I feel if in the future, an SVG can be created that greater matches the Arms in reality, then it could be used. I disagree with the person above in saying that using the SVG arms would be irresponsible. Most of the Arms files on here are SVG, and none are displayed in their full size, but in a size appropriate to the page, so that is not a problem. The only time the Arms are displayed at full size is when a user chooses to view them at such. Fry1989 (talk) 02:04, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure which post you're referring to when you mention "the person above in saying that using the SVG arms would be irresponsible", but the comment most likely referred to the previous svg version, which was vastly inferior to the current inferior version. I really don't know why we use svg anyway, it's a horrible format that only Wikipedia seems to use. --AussieLegend (talk) 05:47, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
The post directly above me is the one I mean. And saying SVG is a horrible format is rather silly. Some Coats of Arms on here in SVG are done beautifully and in great detail, while others are poor. It all depends on the quality. If a good enough SVG of the Aussie Arms can be made, I see no reason why they can't be used. Fry1989 (talk) 17:49, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
It's a horrible format because it requires specialist knowledge in order to create svg images and it's an uncommon format that isn't easily viewed off Wikipedia. I fail to see any advantage for the average reader and I think the fact that two attempts have so far failed to replicate the Coat of Arms demonstrates that. --AussieLegend (talk) 18:10, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Just because not everyone can make good arms in SVG isn't a reason to scrap it. Take a look at my country's arms (Canada), or Britain's, or some others, that were made by experts. They show the true value of SVG. Fry1989 (talk) 18:33, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Coat of Arms in 1900[edit]

The initial coat of arms was granted in 1900 , and doesn't resemble any of the versions presented here. Is there any specific reason to eradicate the prior history of it? According to the patent in the link, it couldn't changed by degree of a King, and therefor represents an unlawful change to the powers given by the patent. As I don't want to start an edit war, I would be grateful to discuss the issue with any maintainer of this page. Lord Chao (talk) 14:25, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

The link you've provided is to a copy of "Letters Patent constituting the office of Governor-General of Australia (UK)", not the warant regarding the coat of arms. --AussieLegend () 14:57, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Title of Entry[edit]

I am wondering whether this entry should be renamed from 'Coat of arms of Australia' to 'Commonwealth Coat of Arms (Australia)'. Reason being that I can find no official documentation referring to the arms as 'Coat of arms of Australia'. All official documentation, including the most recent style guide published by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet refers only to 'Commonwealth Coat of Arms': Why is the entry title 'Coat of Arms of Australia' without any citation for where this unofficial title originates from? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Renlight2 (talkcontribs) 04:10, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Article titles are determined according to Wikipedia:Article titles. We normally use the commonly recognised name, not official titles. --AussieLegend () 04:18, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

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