Gothic enigma in Australia

From our man in Sydney – One hundred years ago this week, Her Majesty the Queen, through her Governor, granted arms to the state of New South Wales.

To celebrate this event, the Legislative Council, or upper house, of the NSW parliament has unveiled a new casting of the coat of arms. The new crest, which sits above the entrance to the Macquarie Street building has one major revision – the Royal Arms of a lion and unicorn rampant, have been replaced with the state arms of the lion and kangaroo.

This has caused some controversy in the city, with some seeing it as a republican gesture. Others counter that the lion and kangaroo are the symbols of the Australian crown and actually monarchist.

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Either way, what is of interest is the fetching and unexplained repainting of the lions claws, from red to blue. Initially, this seemed a very good omen indeed – red being the heraldic colour of courage, but blue signifying fidelity; thus blue claws on the royal lion would seem a monarchist symbol.

It appears to be neither, as no MP can be found to offer an explanation. Independent upper house MP Peter Breen fulminated against the colour change, accidental or otherwise, saying “It looks like a bloody Goth!”

Goths, of course, have no business straying outside of designated Goth areas such as Brighton, Widnes and Germany.

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