Local history,Local stories...Sutherland Shire Flag

Sutherland Shire Flag
The Sutherland Shire is often said to have taken its name from Forby Sutherland, a seaman who died on board the HMS Endeavour when it was anchored off Kurnell and thereby became, on 1 May 1770, the first British subject to be buried in Australian soil. In recognition of Forby Sutherland and the Shire’s historical significance as the place from which the first landing from the HMS Endeavour was made on 29 April 1770, Sutherland Shire Council, desirous of an official flag in 1929, stipulated that the essential points of the Arms of Captain James Cook be incorporated into the new design when they approached the Royal Australian Historical Society on the matter. The RAHS referred them to Mr C.R. Wylie, designer of the Canberra coat of arms.

The Sutherland Shire Flag (seen flying here in 1938) bears the red cross of St. George upon a white background, symbolising the naval ensign under which Captain Cook sailed. At the centre of a blue field (the ocean) surrounded by a green wreath of laurel lies a globe amid two ‘estoiles’ representing the north and south polar stars (Cook’s Arms).
“What do we want a bally old flag for?” asked the Cronulla-Sutherland Advocate newspaper on 6 September 1929 when the new flag was revealed, “For pride in our Shire… On its eastern boundary the great waves of the Pacific break unceasingly. Over its bridge-spanned river the Prince’s Highway, linking east and west, runs. Southward lies a monument for all time to the farsightedness of a great statesman who reserved, in all its natural beauty, a playground for the people, the National Park. Progress is evidenced on every hand. Why should we not wave a flag over it and “tell the world” how pleasant is the place whereon our tents are pitched?”
“A flag is not merely a piece of bunting fluttering on the breeze,” the Advocate continued poetically, “it is a symbol … (and our) flag symbolises pride, remembrance (and) hope.”