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Murray River (Western Australia)

Last modified: 2016-02-27 by ian macdonald
Keywords: murray river | map | mill | coat of arms: 6 quarters |
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[Flag of Murray River (Western Australia)] image by Valentin Poposki, 24 Apr 2007

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Description of the flag

From the Pennant House website:

"Western Australia's Murray River has joined the mighty Murray of the eastern states by unfurling a flag to represent the region south of Perth. The Murray River that flows from the Snowy to Adelaide has had flags since the early 1850s. New South Wales' enthusiasts like to fly a flag that differs slightly from the one the South Australians fly proudly.

Even before the unfurling on the 18th of November 2006 local Murray River people have rushed the organisers for the average size of 1800 mm x 900 mm and a smaller boat sized burgee. This initiative by the Yunderup Ladies Group has them pleasantly surprised with the remarkable demand. So strong was the demand they were forced to reorder twice before the unfurling ceremony. Of course the flags were made at Pennant House.

The Murray River (WA) flag shows the river's delta in bold blue and green as a background. Then the designers have featured the Shire of Murray's colourful crest and also the historic mill which is situated on Culeenup Island. It is a distinctive flag for a unique water way.

contributed by Valentin Poposki, 24 April 2007

The flag's background is a map of the estuary of the river (entering the Peel Inlet, in Mandurah, south of Perth in Western Australia - see it on Google Maps), in fairly bright blue and green. Added to this, in the lower fly is the coat of arms of the Shire of Murray, in which the river is located. The arms are made up of six quarters, most of which seem to be fairly complicated scenes. There is also a circular crest, which seem to contain a picture of a bull's head. A black and white drawing of Cooper's Mill is in the upper fly, covering parts of Meeyip and Ballee Islands on the map. This makes it clear that the flag was not simply designed as a map, as the mill, built in 1843 and the oldest mill in the area, is located on Culeenup Island. (Source: Heritage Council of Western Australia)

It is not clear what the purpose of this flag is. It was clearly designed as a response to the Murray River Flag flown on the Murray River in eastern Australia, one of the notable Australian flags dating from the 19th century. The original intention of that flag is of course not known, but I suspect it was quite different to this case.

The contents of the flag, and the existence of a burgee, suggest it is mainly aimed at those using boats on the river's estuary. There is no indication that it is intended to represent the shire named after the river, despite the inclusion of the coat of arms. I couldn't find a reference to the shire approving the use of the arms in this way, however they can't have objected, as council minutes tell us that the president attended the unfurling of the flag at Coopers Mill.
Jonathan Dixon, 24 April 2007