From major roads and many Canberra suburbs the Brindabella Mountains can be seen in the west changing throughout the day and night, some times hidden in winter's mist or bathed in summer's apricot sunset.
Canberra republican Terry Fewtrell would like to see the Brindabellas in a new coat of arms for the ACT, accompanied by the territory's floral emblem, the royal bluebell flower, and faunal emblem, the gang gang cockatoo.
"I think the defining geographic image for the ACT is that wonderful cascading ridge of ranges, the Brindabellas, I think that would be beautifully incorporated into a contemporary design of the coat of arms and with the gang gang and bluebells," says Fewtrell.
Fewtrell says symbolism on Canberra's coat of arms is inappropriate to the city and community because it isn't about us.
He has badgered his republican colleagues and Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and spoken to the heraldry group and those associated with the genealogy in Canberra.
"That was a risk for me as a republican talking to a group that was fundamentally a monarchy group, but I thought we had to fundamentally understand what their views might be," says Fewtrell.
He says heraldry group members pointed out the ACT is the only jurisdiction that does not have a coat of arms. He believes some of them are miffed the ACT government has appropriated for itself the coat of arms, which was given to the city of Canberra and not the territory.
"We are largely a city state in a sense. So we found ourselves at a point, with no opposition seemingly to the idea the ACT ought to have its own coat of arms, and from where I am coming from, I want symbolism which is relevant and meaningful to us as a community, that respects us."
Canberra historian, author and fellow republican Dr David Headon is also on the case encouraging a movement to come from within the community. They believe the ACT's new coat of arms would be more appropriate on the new supreme court building and ACT Legislative Assembly.
Headon says Canberra's coat of arms goes back to the City of Canberra Arms Act, 1932, created for the Federal Capital commissioners and their successors. "So the custodian today is the National Capital Authority," he says.
"The symbols don't represent our city. The first take at it was two black swans, rejected because Western Australia had that. When the white swan was put on to make it different to Western Australia, it was said in literature of the time that the white swan suggested the White Australia policy and association of the white race with the original black race.
"You have a castle and a rose at the bottom, the Rose of York because the Duke of York in 1927 opened the provisional parliament house. You have two crowns, a portcullis, mace and sword and motto: 'For the King, the law and', Latin scholars suggest the last word is not 'people' but 'mob'."
Defence had asked for a coat of arms for HMAS Canberra. Their request went to Home Affairs and from there to the Federal Capital Commission's chairman Sir John Butters who ran a competition which attracted 35 entries.
"He was disappointed in the standard. One of the adjudicators, C.R.Wylie, was also an entrant. The winner wanted to remain anonymous, so Butters commissioned Wylie a month later, it was all a deep farce. Wylie produced the two black swans.
"If you look at the coat of arms I defy you to discern the tree behind the portcullis is a eucalypt, it is a fat little deciduous tree which has been stuck there. So even our poor eucalypt is nothing like one and is stuck there in jail on the coat of arms."
Headon suggests after community participation and a design competition requiring deeply local symbols, the final choice would go to a vote and a simple motion passed in the legislative assembly.