In what is now being recognized as the worst Australian wildfire season in recorded history, the skies have turned blood-red over the southeastern end of the continent. Many Australian residents have compared the scene to something out of a horror film.
There is currently a minimum of 146 fires burning across Australia at time of publishing, and only 65 of them have been successfully contained. Meanwhile, the other fires are spreading very quickly. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS) indicated that they have about 2,700 firefighters working to contain and extinguish the fires.
The red skies above parts of Australia have been looking very ominous, but in one region, the visual phenomenon created a view in the sky that seemed eerily similar to the Aboriginal Flag.
The aboriginal flag shows a yellow circle, which symbolizes a sun, over a black and red background. In the skies above Australia on the first days of the new year, a sight appeared that looked very similar to the famous flag, showing an actual sun over the black and red backdrop of the sky, as seen in the image below.
The Australian Museum describes the Australian Aboriginal Flag as “divided horizontally into equal halves of black (top) and red (bottom), with a yellow circle in the center.”
The Aboriginal Flag was created by an Indigenous man named Harold Thomas, who drew inspiration from the history of his culture for the design. Thomas designed the flag in 1971 as a symbol of the Aboriginal land rights movement. In 1995 the flag was made an official "Flag of Australia". The red ochre color in the flag is said to represent the earth and spiritual relation to the land, while the bright yellow sun symbolizes the sun as a source of life. The black in the flag is said to represent the indigenous people of the land.
The sight in the sky was noticed by people all over the country, who posted their own shots to social media. Some people who saw the strange sight in the sky, or managed to catch the pictures later, felt that this could be some type of sign from the aboriginal people, who are often seen as protectors of the land and the environment.
The wildfires in Australia are truly unprecedented, despite the lack of coverage compared to the fires in the Amazon or California. In fact, the fires in Australia are said to be 5 times larger than that of the Amazon, torching over 12 million acres of land thus far. As we reported in early January, nearly 500 million animals are expected to have perished in the fires since they began a few months ago.
Authorities in Australia have urged tens of thousands of people to evacuate from their homes and move to safer areas. The region of Victoria has declared a state of disaster in areas that are home to roughly 100,000 people. The fires have been burning since September, and in these few months, it is estimated that 1,300 homes were destroyed.