Here’s another factoid I unearthed, and surprisingly, it doesn’t seem to have been dealt with here.
Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian seal for that reason.
OK. My first thought is well, emus and kangaroos are on the seal because they’re animals commonly associated with Australia. Checking the official Australian government web site, I found a page with the original seal. Interestingly enough, it pictures an emu and kangaroo (so?) with the motto “always forward.” (ah!)
However, the explanation for the seal makes no mention of the fact that the animals can only go forward and simply states what I assumed: that they’re just symbolic animals of Australia.
So two things here, then. Is it true that kangaroos and emus cannot walk backwards? (I can believe kangaroos, but emus seems suspect to me.) If so, then is the use of these animals simply coincidental with the “motto.” (Which I think would be the case. Though I suppose they could’ve chosen a koala and an ostrich.)