Flag bearers uniform (incomplete) comprising Driza-bone coat, Akubra hat and scarf, Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000, designed by Kristian Fredrikson, made by Driza-bone and Akubra, used in medal presentation ceremonies, Sydney 2000
This is an incomplete example of the flag bearer uniforms that were worn at the medal presentation ceremonies during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. It comprises a short, beige Driza-bone coat, a 'Snowy River' style Akubra hat specially dyed in 'dune', and a cyan and white scarf featuring the Sydney 2000 logo and Olympic rings (cyan was selected because pure white would flare on camera). The entire uniform also included a chambray shirt, beige pants, and a leather belt and shoes. The uniforms were tested on camera, both indoors and outdoors, for six months before they were finalised.
Six teams of flag bearers carried and raised flags at the medal presentation ceremonies; their participants, aged between 18 and 25 years, had defence force training and an understanding of flag protocols. Also part of the team was flag escorts who wore an official uniform with a dark blue blazer. Audiences adored these teams, always greeting them with loud applause.
David Atkins, Artistic Director and Producer for the Ceremonies Division, oversaw the production of ceremonial uniforms after approving this stockman theme. "The Driza-bone, the Akubra, that whole look, the Australian stockman look is a fairly unique look and significant around the world as being Australian and so once you see that you know exactly where you are." The uniform project resulted in a significant contract for the Australian company, Driza-bone, which manufactured 3,500 coats and 4,000 hats for the Olympic Games.
In May 1998, Driza-bone began work on the Olympic project, transforming drawings by costume designer, Kristian Fredrikson, into samples and coat patterns. It then submitted each element of the uniform to Birch for approval. The original coat design required various modifications for the Olympic Games - the internal elbow pads were moved to the outside, the lining was imported and the fabric was dyed specially. The Driza-bone team - one coordinator, two assistants and ten machinists - worked an average of twelve hours each day in the weeks leading up to the Olympics, and made the final 179 coats on the night before the opening ceremony. Consequently, the uniforms represent Driza-bone's contributions to the Olympic Games, and also reflect the Australian stockman image that the Ceremonies Division promoted during the event.
The uniform was developed by costume designer, Kristian Frerikson, and was approved by David Atkins, Artistic Director and Producer for the Ceremonies Division. The design process took six months, with each prototype being tested indoors and outdoors on camera. The colours within the uniform were developed to complement the requirements of television.
The 'Snowy River' style hats were made by Akubra, and were dyed in 'dune' exclusively for the Games. Driza-bone manufactured the majority of coats in August and September 2000, using imported lining and a specially dyed fabric. The cyan and white scarves were probably made by Davenport, which manufactured most scarves and ties for the Games. The entire process was coordinated by David Atkins, the Artistic Director and Producer for the Ceremonies Division.
Six teams of flag bearers carried and raised the flags and presentation ceremonies, and wore the flag bearer's uniform. The participants, who were aged between 18 and 25 years, had defence force training and an understanding of flag protocols.
Made for and owned by the Olympic Coordination Authority/Sydney Orgnaising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after the Games.