|The Flag and the Constitution|
|Written by Professor David Flint AM|
|Wednesday, 23 June 2010|
When I argued in the nineties that the Flag be entrenched in the Constitution, the republican response was that no constitution does this. The republican movement was then quite open about this part of their agenda.
So I pointed to France as an example of a country whose constitution does precisely this. I preferred not to rely on the so called Soviet Constitution which also did this before that evil empire collapsed.
I was surprised when Kim Beazley, as a minister speaking on behalf of the Keating government, announced they would be changing the Flag before the Centenary of Federation. This would be done by Parliament; the people would not vote on this.
The Flag Act, 1953 was amended in 1998 by a bill introduced by the Howard government. Under this, the Australian National Flag can only be changed after a poll in which a majority of the electors voting choose a new flag.
Having seen the trickery used by the Keating government over change to a politicians’ republic, the existing flag would have to be included in the choice.This requirement for a vote could of course be repealed by Parliament.
In 2003, in Twilight of the Elites, I proposed ten measures to restore the Federation. One of these was to entrench the flag into the Constitution so that it could only be changed after a referendum.
The Australian Flag Society has just proposed a referendum to declare English to be the national language, and to entrench in the Constitution both Australia Day and the Australian National Flag.
The text of the proposed bill follows. This is included in an essay by Nigel Morris on the Australian Conservative site.
To approve the changes to the Constitution proposed in the Constitution Amendment (National Language, Holiday and Flag) Constitutional Amendment Bill, to declare English to be the national language, 26 January in each year to be Australia Day and a certain flag to be the Australian National Flag.
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