During the Anzac Centenary period the Mint continues its tradition of releasing coloured $2 ‘C’ Mintmark coins to commemorate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. This striking and evocative design is inspired by the Eternal Flame at the Australian War Memorial.
Suspended above the Pool of Reflection, the flame is symbol of remembrance and sacrifice.
The origins of the eternal flame as a symbol of remembrance are unclear. It is possibly derived from the hearth flame of ancient cities, such as Rome or Delphi. An eternal flame was installed at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris in 1923, with flames also being installed throughout Europe in the following decade.
Australia’s first eternal flame was lit in Brisbane on 11 November 1930 and was described as ‘strikingly typical of the Anzac spirit … a beacon of light and inspiration to rising and future generations’.
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II lit an eternal flame at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne in 1954 to commemorate the Australian lives lost during the Second World War. Others were lit in Perth and Townsville.
The Eternal Flame at the Australian War Memorial has been burning since 1988 in perpetual remembrance of the 102,000 Australians who have died in war and other operations since 1885.