Supporters of the Arms of Australia

Heraldry from Australasia
Iain Boyd
Posts: 149
Joined: 15 Jul 2012, 01:48
Location: New Zealand

Supporters of the Arms of Australia

Postby Iain Boyd » 16 Nov 2013, 09:46

To our Australian colleagues,

Fact of the day (on the site of my internet provider) -

"Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason."

Are these two statements correct?


Iain Boyd

Ryan Shuflin
Posts: 527
Joined: 26 Jul 2012, 13:00
Location: Germany

Re: Supporters of the Arms of Australia

Postby Ryan Shuflin » 16 Nov 2013, 11:49

There is apparently a book titled Emus Can't Walk Backwards: Another Round of Dubious Pub Facts

Basically it says no to both. Both animals have difficulty moving backwards, and kangaroos having trouble walking in any direction. The book also cites the animals' nearness in height as a main factor in their choice, and the bowman flag as the inspiration for the coat of arms.

The design on the Bowman flag.

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Arthur Radburn
Posts: 1122
Joined: 11 Jul 2012, 09:56

Re: Supporters of the Arms of Australia

Postby Arthur Radburn » 16 Nov 2013, 14:23

More about the Bowman Flag, and other early Australian heraldry, on this site.
Arthur Radburn
IAAH Vice-President : Heraldic Education

John Jones
Posts: 24
Joined: 11 Aug 2012, 19:57
Location: Australia

Re: Supporters of the Arms of Australia

Postby John Jones » 05 Jan 2014, 07:21

Curious statements.
Are there any other supporters on arms that are there because they cannot walk or fly backwards or in any other direction?
Many arms have lions. I come from Africa and I have never noticed a lion walking backwards. On the other hand, I have definitely walked backwards on seeing some of the wildlife in Africa.

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