Challenging The Australian National Flag
Written by ACM   
Thursday, 26 August 2004

August 27, 2004
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
National Office, Sydney Australia

The leader of the Federal Opposition, Mr. Latham, announced on July 14 2004 that, if elected Prime Minister, he would fly the flag of the Eureka Stockade at Parliament House as part of the 150th Anniversary Celebrations to be held on December 3rd, 2004 (Ballarat Courier 15 July 2004). Since this time Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) has received distressed messages from concerned Australians who fear that it is Mr. Latham’s clear intention to challenge Australia’s National Flag. ACM condemns Mr. Latham’s pledge to fly the Eureka flag at Parliament House.

Mr. Stephen Copeman, Convenor Young ACM, said today: “At a time when Australians are taking pride in our Olympic athletes under our great national flag, Mr. Latham’s negative proposal is out of touch. ACM is appalled that Mr. Latham questions Australia’s great love and respect for our National Flag, our symbol of national unity.”

Mr. Copeman went on to say, “The Eureka flag arose from an armed rebellion in Victoria in the 1850s, and is today used as a symbol of dissension by militant elements in the trade union movement. Eureka is an isolated and rare violent insurrection in Australian history.”

“Australians are a peace-loving people who settle any differences by peaceful, democratic means. We need look no further than the birth of our Federation. The agreement by the States to unite as the Commonwealth of Australia is perfectly symbolized by the Star of Federation in our National Flag.”

“Mr. Latham’s potentially divisive proposal echoes his inflammatory remarks that the Eureka Standard is “a starting point” for “reassessing” Australia’s national flag (Liverpool City Champion, 6 May 1992). By attempting to elevate an obsolete symbol of division over our national flag, Mr. Latham shows a disdain for Australia’s greatest symbol of national unity, particularly on significant occasions of national pride, such as the Olympic Games.”

Mr. Latham has proposed a timetable for imposing a divisive republic with a vote for a republic within 12 months of a Labor government. As Mayor of Liverpool he tore down the Queens portrait from Council Chambers. Now he talks of tearing up our flag. Australians need to know his agenda before they go to the polls. Is this another example of republicanism by stealth from a Labor politician?