Anzac Day, the 25th April, is the national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand.
It is sacred to the memory of the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I and to all those who died and served in military operations for their countries.
Australian should be united on this day. It is not a day for politics, or for division.
For years now republicans have marred and abused first the Queen’s Birthday and then even Australia Day for their stunts.
Australia Day has become the occasion to denounce both the Flag and the Constitution, even under the auspices of government bodies charged with its commemoration.
It was hoped that they would leave ANZAC Day alone.
…ANZAC Day abuse
But last year leading republicans prominent in the media breached the sacred nature of ANZAC Day just to push their agenda to shred our national flag and also to turn the country into some form of politicians’ republic.
Now, their case has now been officially found to have misled the Australian people.
The common strategy of most republicans to day is to attack and undermine either or both the constitution and the flag, but to refuse point blank to say what they want to put in their place.
The republicans’ ANZAC Day push through Channel 9 was the subject of an official inquiry by the broadcasting regulator.
The republicans push has been found to have misled the viewers.
Mr. Allan Pigeon, President of the Queensland Branch of the Australian National Flag Association prepared a devastating submission which exposed the republican claims.
..How the republicans tried to mislead the Australian people…
|Just before ANZAC Day last year 2010 leading republicans Ray Martin and Peter FitzSimons launched a well planned media assault on the Australian National Flag.
This began with a meeting at the Leichardt Town Hall in Sydney.
Extracts were included in a segment of a Sixty Minutes programme broadcast nationally across the Nine Network.
To add to the provocation, the broadcast was on the evening of ANZAC Day, 2010.
The nation was outraged. The network was no doubt delighted by the ratings.
(You can read about the programme in the five principal reports on this site listed below in Schedule 1 below. There are in fact 15 reports in which we have referred to Ray Martin’s campaign – they are listed below in Schedule 2 below. Extracts from the official ruling follow. )
The programme repeated some of the republican myths about our Australian National Flag. Now, two of those concerning the origin of our Flag have been exposed as completely untrue.
This was an attempt to denigrate the origins of our Flag and that there was an unwritten rule requiring entrants to include the Union Jack in any flag submitted.
ACMA, the Federal government’s broadcasting regulator ruled on15 February 2011 that the programme was misleading. (Investigation Report No. 2450. File No.ACMA2010/1515 Queensland Television Ltd)
ACM says the broadcaster failed to present factual material accurately.
This means that the republican case for flag change is based on myth.
…Ray Martin’s claim…
Ray Martin made this claim during the programme:
The fact is that neither the Parliament, nor the people, chose the flag that we have today.
Believe it or not, it began in 1901 as a sales promotion for a Melbourne magazine that was sponsored by a tobacco company.
The unwritten rule for that competition was that the winner had to have two ingredients – the Union Jack and the stars of the Southern Cross – just like the Victorian State flag.
In an erudite statement to ACMA , Mr. Allan Pigeon, President of the Queensland Branch of the Australian National Flag Association declared:
The intention seems to be to belittle the concept of the flag design competition and to imply that our national flag has no official standing other than as a sales promotion for a magazine.
This distorts history (by failing to note that the Commonwealth set up the official flag competition which resulted in our national flag) and dishonours the “world’s first” flag design competition.
Never before had a national flag been chosen in an open public competition and about 1% of the Australian population at the time took the opportunity to help design our flag.
The ‘Review of Reviews’ magazine competition entries were submitted for consideration as part of the official Commonwealth Government flag design competition announced in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 29 April 1901.
…two separate competitions…
Ray Martin is confusing two separate competitions. The ‘Evening Herald’ ran an unofficial competition in 1900, which did require that entries included a Union Jack and Southern Cross. (As noted above the winning design did not become our flag.)However in October 1900 the ‘Review of Reviews’, considering that the ‘Evening Herald’ competition had been too restrictive, announced a national competition which was to be judged by the premiers of the six ‘federating colonies’ (i.e. the states).
The announcement noted that the earlier competition had been “purely local…and fettered by the conditions that the Federal Flag must include both the Union Jack and the Southern Cross…it seems unwise to fetter the competition with any such absolute limitations…”.
Even though a flag which omitted these symbols might have (had?) small chance of success, it is explicitly clear that there is no such restriction as that claimed by Ray Martin in the competition that led to our national flag.
…official Commonwealth competition…
As noted earlier, the ‘Review of Reviews’ did not proceed with judging its entries, as it was ultimately agreed that these would be considered as part of the official Commonwealth flag design competition announced in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 29 April 1901.
A reading of this gazette […] confirms that the Commonwealth also did not put any restrictions on entries.In fact during the ‘Flag Debate’ broadcast on April 25, the 60 Minutes camera panned over a publication illustrating the incredible diversity of designs submitted, many without the Union Jack – as one historian noted, entries featured "every kind of flora and fauna identifiable with Australia — sometimes all at once!”.
We are also told that "among the more quirky designs were a kangaroo leaping through the constellation of the Southern Cross, a scene depicting native animals playing cricket with a winged cricket ball, a six-tailed kangaroo representing the six Australian states, and a kangaroo aiming a gun at the Southern Cross…".
…the ACMA decision…
The ACMA ( through its delegate) made the following preliminary findings:
1. the statement cited the wrong year in which the competition was launched
2. the statement failed to specify the Commonwealth’s involvement in the competition; and
3. there is insufficient evidence to support the contention that there was an ‘unwritten rule’ in relation to the Review of Reviews competition (and thereby, the official Government competition).
In the context of the entire report, ACMA did not consider the error in the citation of the year in isolation would have been significantly misleading to the ordinary reasonable viewer.
However, when read in conjunction with the omission of information regarding the Commonwealth, together with the stipulation of an existing unwritten rule, ACMA held that this would have been misleading to the ordinary, reasonable viewer.
Accordingly, the licensee breached clause 4.3.1 of the Code in relation to the presentation of Statement 1.
Later in the programme Ray Martin said:The flag that won that magazine competition over a century ago has served us well. ACMA found that the ordinary, reasonable viewer would have understood the Australian flag was the winning design in the Review of Reviews of Australasia magazine flag competition.
While it was not inaccurate to state that the competition ‘begun’ with a competition launched by a Melbourne magazine (Review of Reviews of Australasia), it was, inaccurate to state that the Australian flag ‘won that magazine competition’. This is because the Australian flag design was the winning design of the Commonwealth Government Federal Flag Competition (gazetted in 1903). So again, Ray Martin misled the viewers.
ACMA made other findings about a Flag at Tobruk and that the broadcaster had failed to provide a written response to the complainant and was again in breach of the Code.
SCHEDULE 1: Principal ACM reports on the 60 Minute programme of 25 April 2010
SCHEDULE 2: All ACM reports referring to Ray Martin’s initiative
…estminster system, and yes, the English language? It is all so infantile, so divisive. For the TV presenter Ray Martin, to say he objects to the Union Jack being on our flag because of its British c… Tuesday, 25 January 2011
3. Viewers vote down 60 Minutes Flag Change Campaign
4. ANZAC Day outrage: Rats of Tobruk reunion gatecrashed by leading flag changer
5. The Australian Language
6. Once more unto the breach
7. Flag changers condemned by…. republicans**
8. ANZAC Day: Our Heritage **
9. New Flag after republic: Ray Martin**
10. The Flag Successfully Defended **
11. Defending the Flag…Tonight **
12. Mate for Head of State Alert
13. Confusion: is it on or is it off, Mr. Attorney?
Republicans Ray Martin and Malcolm Turnbull were roundly told they ought to grow up by that éminence grise among Australian editors, Ian Moore. (Spectator Australia, 30 January.) The magazine c Tuesday, 02 February 2010
15. Repel the vandals
16. Australia Day: Repel the Vandals
17. Change the flag to…. I don't know what :Ray Martin
18. The most important thing is to rid us of our heritage: Ray Martin