Something like this?
I quite like the design, but whilst I think the original was too busy I feel it’s a mistake to get rid of the arrow. I feel like the arrow as a very subtle nod to the Union Flag is definitely one of the more unique points as Australian flag redesigns rarely seem to do that, it also adds a unique Ausie touch á la the Canadian Pale (which is notionally one of the objectives people have for redesigning the current flag).
 
After listening to the feedback and managing to figure out best how to implement the critiques, I have settled on this alternate Australian flag design. It combines elements from basically each individual option I had presented. I also tried to lessen the impact of some of the elements so that they would not be too overwhelming. So I tried creating space between those unique elements in the hopes of balancing them. Of course, I had to compromise on some elements (the Stars of the Southern Cross most notably). I believe this design flows well enough, and manages to keep the original meanings I had developed with the original alternate flag.

NewAustraliaFlagV6.png
 
After listening to the feedback and managing to figure out best how to implement the critiques, I have settled on this alternate Australian flag design. It combines elements from basically each individual option I had presented. I also tried to lessen the impact of some of the elements so that they would not be too overwhelming. So I tried creating space between those unique elements in the hopes of balancing them. Of course, I had to compromise on some elements (the Stars of the Southern Cross most notably). I believe this design flows well enough, and manages to keep the original meanings I had developed with the original alternate flag.

View attachment 885811
Great job!
 
After listening to the feedback and managing to figure out best how to implement the critiques, I have settled on this alternate Australian flag design. It combines elements from basically each individual option I had presented. I also tried to lessen the impact of some of the elements so that they would not be too overwhelming. So I tried creating space between those unique elements in the hopes of balancing them. Of course, I had to compromise on some elements (the Stars of the Southern Cross most notably). I believe this design flows well enough, and manages to keep the original meanings I had developed with the original alternate flag.

View attachment 885811
I've enjoyed all of these designs to varying degrees, all are better than 90% of the Australia re-designs I've seen.

But I would just note, for this last flag - I much prefer the Commonwealth Star to be in the upper-left hand corner, set in the blue band. The white on blue is better, and having it there recalls the Union Jack canton while firmly noting that it has been superseded by an Australian, federal identity.
 
That's an easy enough change, and thank you for the compliments. With the forum's involvement, I think this alternate Australian flag has turned out quite nice. Here's the version with the Commonwealth Star in the upper-left. I'm unsure which one I like best, but I like the idea between this and the previous version. The Commonwealth Star along the red band can represent 'the land down under,' motif. The Commonwealth Star along the blue band can represent a sort of supreme Federal Australian identity/unity. I suppose it's which symbolism an individual favors for representation.

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Flag of the People's Federal Republic, an insurgency in the USA during a Vietnam era U.S. collapse (Soviet funded)
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Idea for a Weimar era proposed flag for Germany during the flag war, based on the Reichskriegsflagge of the Imperial times. Had to shift it to the centre because of how minimally off centre it was. Reminds of the Neubecker Nordic flag and Josef Wirmer's resistance flag. But I think this one would be even better than another Nordic one. Feels more unique and Central European.
And listen, I love off centre flags. But there is a fine line between off centre to look cool and off centre to trigger my brain more than it should be.

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Pursuant to these discussions: I have become enchanted by the wild Cuban-Soviet proposal of a federation of socialist countries around the Red Sea, consisting of Somalia, newly-socialist Ethiopia, South Yemen, Djibouti, and with some kind of autonomy for the Ogaden and Eritrea. This concept would allow the Soviets to reconcile their long-standing investment in Somalia while getting to have a new ally in Ethiopia, create a political settlement in Eritrea to avoid a quagmire, and create a united front to project Soviet influence and control in Arabia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Red Sea.

The proposal was made by Castro at a meeting between Siad Barre and Mengistu. Siad Barre said that any federation that didn't provide for full Somali sovereignty over the Ogaden would be unacceptable. Mengistu countered that Somalia was a made-up country invented by the British and the Italians. Siad Barre left the table. The meeting lasted all of 15 minutes, and the dream of a Horn federation died.

Though it was basically unworkable, I find the concept to be highly compelling. My first thought is - What is such a federation called? The obvious (and likely) candidate would be "The Federation of the Horn" or some such, however this is boring, and also has the issue that there is no one word for Horn in the various languages. Not a huge issue, just as there is no one word for Europe in the European Union, though they get pretty close. My first thought was "Erythaea", as it embraces both sides of the Red Sea. But obviously this has the issue of being too favorable to the Eritreans, and would likely be rejected by the Derg.

What I ultimately settled on was "The Federation of the Peoples' Republics of Punt." 'Peoples'" reflects both the socialist character of these states, but also the federations diversity, both across the federation and within its constituents (most especially Ethiopia). As to the name "Punt": As a real proper noun (unlike the Horn), it could be more or less identical across the constituent members, without elevating any one. Certain schools of history see Punt as not having referred to Africa or Arabia, or any one country, but being a general term that referred to both. Using such an ancient name would help to build a regional sense of identity, free from modern chauvinisms. The federation is not Muslim or Christian, it is not Somali or Ethiopian, not Amhara or Oromo: It is Punt.

I prepared two flags for this proposed federation. The first is again based on ancient history, namely that of Damot. Damot is the oldest society in the Horn for which we have eppigraphic records, though only a handful. These are in the Sabaic language, and seems to represent a Sabaean colony that mixed with the locals, and thus would become the forebearer for civilization in the horn of Africa. In these inscriptions there is a common refrain -


The refrain of "its red and its black," presumably referring to the differing skin tones of the Sabaeans and the natives, seems appropriate for a country like our Punt federation which seeks to unite a diverse group of people, and also calls attention to the region's common ancient heritage and origin.

So, my first flag has a black bar on its left (representing Africa to the west) and red on its right (Arabia to the east). A pale in the middle is dominated by a sickle and cog, an intentional call back to the crescent and disc symbol that was shared by ancient Yemen and Ethiopia, while also doubling as a secularized Islamic star and crescent. The sickle represents the predominantly agrarian and peasant nature of the federation. The cog with the red star set in it stands above it represents g the dream of development and industrialization that the federation will strive for. The five points of the star (its design taken from Ethiopia) represent Ethiopia, Somalia, South Yemen, Djibouti, and Eritrea. The green stands for fertility, and the federations Islamic heritage, and is also a shade found on many of the constituents' flags. The cyan stands for the sea and Christian heritage, and likewise is found on several constiuent flags.

View attachment 885553

However - The flag looks perhaps too pan-Arab, and I wonder if emphasizing the racial distinction between Africans and Arabs is really the best, even if it does so in an attempt to unify. So I prepared a second draft.

Here the black represents the African struggle for liberation, the green represents the Islamic/Arab struggle. The red field in the middle of course for socialism, but also for the Red Sea which runs through the middle of the country. As you can see, I am very attached to the Sabaean disc and crescent motif in a socialist lense, and will not change it. I set the star over a totally cyan field - cyan is represented in the flag of 4 of the federation members, and putting the star in it makes it like a star in the sky.

View attachment 885556

Curious what people prefer between these two flags, and if there are any suggestions for improvements.
Honestly, I'd say keep the middle symbol & center it and remove the sickle on the first one, and you've got it perfect! I really do love the idea of the name Punt for this, but wasn't the original proposal named the "Socialist Union of the Horn of Africa" or was that something the DOD came up with (pg 25)?
 
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