Monarchists say a push to change Canberra's coat of arms is an "ideological attack", amid calls to dump the castle and the mace for native flora and fauna.
Australian Monarchist League ACT chairman Matthew Sait told an ACT parliamentary inquiry considering a new coat of arms that the insignia designed in 1932 remained "entirely appropriate" in 2019.
"Despite what some of the submissions have stated, it's not the job of a coat of arms to encapsulate our perceived self-identity or the vague aspirations of the majority or something that came up in the latest opinion poll on a contentious issue," Mr Sait said.
"Coats of arms aren't marketing logos, they're not Facebook profile pics."
Mr Sait also disputed the characterisation of the monarchy as a foreign institution.
"The monarchy is a key part of our current system of constitutional democracy and the Crown has a massive presence in the ACT," he said.
"Our national independence is in no way limited by our choice to share the first of our monarch with 15 other countries.
"Designing a coat of arms should not be an exercise in denying reality."
Mr Sait also said the symbols of the monarchy represented "inclusiveness" when asked whether a new coat of arms should include symbols of the territory's Indigenous history.
"Many of the elements there are actually representing ... Indigenous Australians, not with their distinct history, but we have of course the crown and the symbols of our Parliament which represents all of us, including Indigenous Australians," Mr Sait said.
"The reference particularly to the monarchy does show the inclusiveness of the current design without singling out a particular history."
However Canberra historian Dr David Headon described the coat of arms as "problematic", with even the process of choosing it "deeply flawed".
"They did have a ... competition which had 35 entries, the problem there being that one of the judges of the competition was also an entrant and all 35 were deemed to be unacceptable," he said.
Dr Headon said the head of the Federal Capital Commission, Sir John Butters, produced the motto for the coat of arms - "Pro Rege, Lege et Grege" - based on the creeds of English families, but the translation immediately came under fire from Latin scholars as the meaning was closer to "the mob" than "the people".
The swans were both black to begin with, but one was changed to white as it was discovered the coat of arms was identical to that of the city of Perth.
The designer, C. R. Wylie, said the white swan stood for the White Australia policy, a symbol Dr Headon said "that virtually every Australian today would be resistant to ... on any one of their coats of arms or anything else".
"What we've got is a set of heraldic symbols which one could perhaps defend in perhaps the context of the 1920s and 1930s but it's impossible to do so now," Dr Headon said.
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