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ACM Home arrow Flag: Keep The Flag

Flag: Keep The Flag
Australian Flags ANZAC Day


Our beloved Australian Flag remains under attack by a small minority of republican flag changers.

Without a mandate, and notwithstanding their landslide defeat in 1999, the republicans are in the process of removing all symbols of the Australian Crown - an institution they see as a constraint on republican politicians. 

The republican newspaper The Age says that since everyone knows the Flag will change after some unknown (politicians’) republic is adopted, the Australian Flag should be changed now.

Leading republicans opened a major campaign aginst the flag which culminated in a programme on national television on the eve of ANZAC Day, 2010. In a subsequent official inquiry this campaign was ruled to be misleading.

The principal feature of Australia Day 2011 was the endorsement of flag and constitutional change by those chosen as Australians of the Year by the politicians’ Australia Day committees.

The republican flag changers deliberately ran dead during the 1999 republican referendum campaign to assist the republican case, although the republican movement had earlier endorsed an exhibition of new flags to coincide with the 1998 Constitutional Convention as well as a touring exhibition .  Most of these proposed new flags were of the  beach towel variety with one  proposed flag which can only be described as obscenity, and a gross one at that.

Republicans argue that three established facts about our Flag are untrue.



First that Australian Flag was adopted after an open public competition with very wide participation and support which was concluded under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia;

Second that there was never any requirement that our Flag include the Union Jack,and

Third, that it is the Flag under which Australians have served and died.  



All are absolutely true. And Australians overwhelmingly love their beloved Australian Flag.

Republicans long opposed any requirement for a vote by the people on any change being inserted in the Flag Act or into the Constitution. They were especially annoyed when Parliament did this, and especially by the requirement that in any vote, the existing Flag be included for consideration.

(Most federal republican politicians had to go along with this reluctantly when they realised the changes would pass both houses – they did not want to be on the record opposing this , although previously they planned a change to take effect before 2000 without any vote by the people.) 

A group of prominent republicans continues to campaign for a new flag. They have been careful to ensure none hold office in the republican movement, no doubt to give the impression the two campaigns are entirley separate. There can be little doubt that were a politicians' republic to be imposed, the Flag would be next in line. 

 

 



Offensive republican flag they’d prefer to forget Print E-mail
Keep Our Flag
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 27 July 2009
An ARM spokesman recently told listeners to Sydney’s highest rating radio station, 2GB,  that  changing to a republic had nothing to do with the Flag.  He failed to mention the brochure put out during the republican referendum about an exhibition of  new flags, most of which were pretty awful. The brochure bears the logo of the republican movement and a statement of it support for the exhibition of new flags. To repeat, the Australian republican movement indicated clearly its support for this exhibition.

One of the new  flags proposed to replace our beautiful flag had this slogan emblazoned - in full - on it :



F*** OFF BACK TO FAGLAND” 



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[ The offensive word on the proposed republican Flag for Australia “ F*** OFF TO FAGLAND” has been airbrushed out in compliance with the standards observed on this site ]


The spokesman,  NSW convener of the republican movement Julian Tol,  telephoned radio station 2GB  on Thursday morning on 23 July. This was immediately after Andrew Moore had interviewed me about the recent Commonwealth Poll.  Becoming a politicans' republic has nothing to do with the Flag, he claimed.

 

But as The Age editorial of 20 March 2004 asked, does anyone really believe that Australia is likely to become a republic without also changing its flag?

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[ The offensive word on the proposed republican Flag for Australia “ F*** OFF TO FAGLAND” has been airbrushed out in compliance with the standards observed on this site ]




...Labor and the Flag... 



The Age returned to the issue on 22 August 2008, in “Time to change the flag,” by Barry Everingham. “Julia Gillard aroused the anger of the monarchists recently,” he wrote, “when in an interview she repeated the ALP's already stated policy on the republic.”“Nothing new about that. But Professor David Flint, the convenor of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy, once more clutched at a straw.” 

“Gillard didn't mention the flag but Flint thundered: what new flag is planned for this republic?

“He then claimed that when Rudd and his ministers appear before the flag, it is pinned back and not allowed to fall gracefully. ( They dropped this rather infantile practice soon soon after)

“Never one to let an opportunity slip by, Flint reminded Gillard and the rest of us that under the Constitution she is "one of the Queen's Ministers of State" and implied she (Gillard), not the Queen, was being disloyal in even mentioning a republic.”

When this opinion piece appeared, I  offered my thanks to Mr. Everingham.  He had confirmed that not only was some form of politicians’ republic on the agenda, but so was the flag.

The differences from 1999 are two. First, most republicans would now prefer to put off changing the flag until after they have obtained constitutional change. Second, they won’t reveal what changes they are secretly plotting for either  the constitution or the flag. 

Image 

All of the great leaders of the Australian Labor Party have been, and I suspect still are, strong supporters of the Australian Flag. (They were all constitutional monarchists. Honourable men, when they swore allegiance to the Sovereign, they intended to keep their word)As  the then Leader of the Australian Labor Party, Dr HV Evatt,  told the House of Representatives in 1953,  our flag is not only  “a very beautiful flag.”

He continued:  “It is probably the most beautiful flag in the world.” 

“Australia is the first nation in history, to not only write its own constitution, but also the first to choose its own flag in a competition where  32,000 entries were received from a population of around 3 million,”   John Brett of the Toowoomba National Flag Association said in a message for National Flag Day last year.  

Pointing out that only five other flags are older than ours, he says that the Australian Flag tells the world more about our nation than any other flag.“Most are now colour patches” he said. “Our flag is highly symbolic.”

“The stars of the Southern Cross constellation tell the world where we are." 

“The seven pointed Federal Star tells the world we are a federation of six states looking after a number of territories, represented by the seventh point.”

Well put, Mr. Brett.    

 

 
Say No to Flag change Print E-mail
Keep Our Flag
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 31 May 2009

One of the signs that a new chief executive is not up to the job is when he or she on appointment completely refurbishes a perfectly adequate office.

The same is true for logos. New logos, especially for government bodies, are a complete waste of money, as are the invariable changes of name behind which both the incompetent and the carpetbaggers invariably hide.

Just think about Sydney’s public transport and you will see what I mean.

The idea that you could do that to the nation’s treasured symbol is appalling. It d must be resisted. A proud nation does not change its symbols every few years as if it were little more than a grocery chain or a dog food empire.   

We are the Australian nation, and we are not going to have our heritage shredded.

Image The paragraphs above are in an emailed letter I have just sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . I headed it “Our flag is no throw away logo.“  This is in response to an invitation to everyone from The Sun Herald newspaper of 31 May.

This is in “The Brand Man”, a report by Matthew Benns.  Although it’s on pages 6 and 7 of the Extra section, there is curiously not a trace of it on the internet.

It’s about a man who is no doubt very good at corporate logos, one Hans Hulsbosch. His line is that just as corporations need new logos, so Australia needs a new brand to unify it.

The present flag, he says, “roots the country in the past.”

Image


It is of course not that simple. It unites the past, the present and the future.

Anyway he has designed a new flag, with dominant red tones to signify the colour of the earth, part of the Southern Cross and a fraction of the Union Jack.  He says it is a simple design.

He has copyrighted it. But whoever heard of a flag subject to a private copyright?

He will unveil it when the time is right. He believes the time for change is now.

His recipe for companies coming out of the downturn is to concentrate on their brand “because brand creates loyalty. Brand Australia is no different.”

Oh yes it is Mr. Hulsbosch. You need have no doubt that the rank and file Australians will not have a bar of any change to our Australian flag.

The trouble is the politicians who do not know what to do about the downturn may be attracted to this simple “solution”.

We should not forget that as a minister in the Keating government, Kim Beazley once announced that a new flag would be introduced before the centenary  of federation. Our flag, you see ,“gets up “Mr Keating’s nose, as he once described  his antipathy to our national symbol.

There was not even a discussion of letting the people vote on their flag.

Fortunately the Flag Act now requires a vote on this, and one in which the present Flag must be included. When Mr. Howard introduced the amendment, it was passed unanimously.

Let’s hold the politicians to that.

 
 
They are still campaigning against our Flag Print E-mail
Keep Our Flag
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Wednesday, 08 April 2009

We are used to republicans finding strange reasons for constitutional change. As Sir David Smith reveals, Al Grassby blamed unemployment and the brain drain under the Hawke and Keating governments on the Australian Crown. His statue graces the national capital. Michael Lynch, just appointed to the ABC board, blamed the Crown for stifling artistic talent.

Image

Now the nation’s leading republican newspaper, The Age, says (7/4) that the government’s $35 million campaign to have us elected to a temporary seat on the UN Security Council could be blocked unless we change our flag. This is of course the Flag under which our soldiers, sailors and airmen fought.

Admitting it did not stop us winning four previous terms, The Age’s diplomatic editor Daniel Flitton says we are being  held back by a “symbolic factor — our national flag.”  He says that “every time the Union Jack postage stamp appears at a meeting, other countries must wonder at the wisdom of giving Britain a second seat.”

And I thought the reason is the ability of the European Union to outbid us for all those votes which are effectively up for sale. I suppose our government is persuaded that sending our Head of State to various African countries, most of which don’t even have Australian diplomats in residence, will ensure their votes are in the bag.  

At the last election at which we stood, Richard Butler assured the government 
that he had rounded up the the votes. 

 
 
National Flag Day support across political spectrum Print E-mail
Keep Our Flag
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 30 August 2007

Image

 

“The  Australian flag symbolises our pride in our nation and I encourage all Australians to celebrate the birthday of the flag on the 3rd of September,” declared  His Excellency the Governor –General, Major General Michael Jeffery. “The design resulted from a competition in 1901 which attracted some 19 per cent of the population. Five entrants shared the honour of being declared the winners. They Included a 14-yearold schoolboy, a teenage apprentice, a ships officer, an architect and a female artist - each in themselves representing the very egalitarian nature of our society.  Together, they created a lasting symbol of what it means to be Australian.” “Steeped in meaning, our flag proudly displays the Southern Cross to celebrate our 60,000-year place in the world; a seven point star to mark the great achievement of Federation; and the Union Flag to remind us that we have inherited precious traditions of parliamentary democracy, faith, law and language. It is fitting to recall the tribute paid by our national Parliament in 2001 to the Australian flag on its 100th birthday. It was acknowledged as a great symbol representing our achievements as a Federation, our independence and freedom as a people, and our optimism for a secure and prosperous future together. “The Australian Flag was declared our pre-eminent national symbol in times of adversity and war. peacetime and prosperity. Today, let us respect, celebrate and admire our beautiful flag and all it means to our nation.”Details of the celebrations of the Australian National Flag  Day across the Commonwealth  can be found on the website of the Australian National Flag Association , http://www.flagaustnat.asn.au/flagday2007main.php. You may also find messages from Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, the Prime Minister The Hon John Howard, the Leader of HM’s Australian Opposition, Federal Labor Leader , Mr Kevin Rudd MP, the Minister for Defence the Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP, the Minister for Education, Science & Training, the  Hon Julie Bishop MP, the Premier of New South Wales the  Hon Morris Iemma MP, the Leader of HM’s NSW  Opposition, NSW, Mr Barry O'Farrell MP, and the Premier of Western Australia the Hon Alan Carpenter MLA.                     It  is wonderful to see that support for the Fag is now bi-partisan, and that Labor seems to have abandoned the plans of the Keating government to change the flag without even a referendum. The next thing will be to see Labor abandon, as it eventually will, the misguided plan to throw out one of the world’s most successful constitutions. Labor should begin by cancelling its arrangement to outsource policy on this issue to the republican movement, led as it is by an endorsed Liberal candidate.   

 
Republicans and the Flag Print E-mail
Keep Our Flag
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 08 July 2007

Image

In the nineties the republicans campaigned openly for a change of the Flag.  At the same time as the Constitutional Convention in 1998, the republicans even sponsored an exhibition of mainly awful alternative flags in Canberra. There was one other republican sponsored exhibition  which I particularly remember. One flag included the use of appalling language suggesting , in polite terms, that some people might go and live in the UK. ( I occasionally receive that abuse, although I was born here.)


At about this time, ACM had a lovely poster showing our superb Australian Flag, with the words; “When republicans see this, they think of England . When constitutional monarchists see this they think of Australia.” It seems the overwhelming majority of Australians have come to agree with us on that.  So much so that even the ultra republican and ratings-challenged Sydney broadcaster, Mr. Mike Carlton claims he has been converted to supporting the Australian Flag.


The republicans now claim, deviously, that the flag is a issue separate from whatever republic they now want, although they are also coy on that and are, as Mr Philip Gibson says, RWM – Republicans Without a Model. The Age let that cat out of the bag about the intrinsic relationship between republicanism and flag changing. The Age’s editorial of 20 March 2004 asked whether anyone really believes that Australia is likely to become a republic without also changing its flag. In this The Age clearly represents republican thought, although it hasn’t even the come out of its monarchist closet. You see The Age, our ultra republican Melbourne newspaper, is still published, believe it or not, under a version of the Royal Coat of Arms.


One of the web comments on my letter about the office of Governor-General published in The Australian on 5 July, 2007 (published also in this column on 3 July, 2006)is typical. It was from Mr. David Milton of Brisbane and is dated 4 July, 2007. 


He writes:” David Flint, more than 70 per cent of Australians want a Republic, so pretty shortly there won’t be a GG full stop. Hopefully changing our embarrassing Australian flag will follow shortly after.”

Apart from the exaggeration of republican support, note the reference to our “embarrassing” flag. I suppose in some inner city salons, the denizens still shrink in embarrassment about our nation and its symbols.

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