Flag and flagpole prototype, Olympic Rings, polyester/aluminium, designed by Ignatius Jones, made by Southern Cross Visual Communications, used to test the flag proposed for the 'Welcome' segment, Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000 Opening Ceremony, Sydney 2000
Designed by Ignatius Jones, this two-metre model of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) flag and flagpole reflects an early concept for the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. The IOC flag, which would be carried onto the stadium by stockmen on horseback, would transform into the Australian flag, symbolising Australia as host of the Olympic Games. This prototype was used to test the proposal and to gauge the appropriate length for the flagpole that would rest in a riding stirrup. However, the concept required excessive handling from the stockmen who requested that it be abandoned in favour of using two separate flags - IOC and Australian.
'Welcome', the segment that featured the IOC and Australian flags, launched the Opening Ceremony and set an energetic pace for the entire show. Segment Designer, Ignatius Jones, choreographed the performance of 120 stockmen who rode in formation around the arena. Costumes of Akubra hats, Drizabone jackets and moleskin pants completed their stockmen image. Inspiring this segment were Banjo Patterson's poem, 'The Man from Snowy River', and the Australian, bushman archetype. For audiences around the world, these images emphasised that Australia was host of the 2000 Olympic Games.
Described by the NSW premier Bob Carr as 'the greatest spectacle Australia has produced', the opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games took place at Stadium Australia, Homebush Bay on Friday 15 September 2000. Though the ceremony featured anthems, speeches, oaths, flags, pop singers and a marching band, its daring conceptual sequences ('Deep Sea Dreaming', 'Awakening', 'Nature', 'Tin Symphony', 'Arrivals' and 'Eternity') will be remembered as the major imaginative works. Each segment commenced without interruption, following on from the last to form an overall narrative. The purpose was to project a national image to a worldwide audience, to form the world's vision of Australian culture. This image embraced tolerance, social progress, multiculturalism and reconciliation, as well as nature, history and creativity. Designed to stimulate emotional responses from the audience, these segments delivered a refreshing mixture of youth, naivety and larrikinism.
The opening ceremony exploded into life with the arrival of a lone horseman galloping to the centre of Stadium Australia. He stopped, then his horse reared on its hind legs and the horseman cracked a stockwhip. Suddenly 120 stockhorses and their riders were thundering in to join him, then accompany him in formation across the length of the arena. The flawless formation of all those horses into five Olympic circles provided a dramatic opening. The men and women riders, aged from 15 to 77, clad in outback uniform of long coats, bushmen's hats, coloured kerchiefs and moleskin pants, carried Olympic flags as they moved through their paces to Bruce Rowland's stirring theme music from the film 'The Man from Snowy River'.
The horse has a noble history in Australia and is a potent symbol. The mounted charges of the bush cavalry in the stadium carried echoes of the man from Snowy River, the bush explorers and pioneers, outback heritage, rural prosperity, the Australian Light Horse cavalry of the World War I, a procession of Melbourne Cups, hopeful punters, Akubra-clad drovers and the rollicking verse of the bush balladeers.
Designed by Ignatius Jones, this two-metre model of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) flag and flagpole reflects an early concept for the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. The IOC flag, which would be carried onto the stadium by stockmen on horseback, would transform into the Australian flag and would symbolise Australia as host of the Olympic Games.
Southern Cross Visual Communications made the polyester flag and aluminium flagpole in Sydney in 2000. Together, the were used to tested the flags proposed for 'Welcome', a segment in the Opening Ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Games.
The flag and flagpole were used by Ignatius Jones to test the flag proposed for 'Welcome', a segment in the Opening Ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Games.
Made for and owned by the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after the Games.