May 31

Creeping republicanism and the AIF

Understandably offended by the removal of the Crown from the badge of the AIF in a TV news broadcast , Mr. David Caldwell sent this letter to the one of our readers sent the following letter to Channel 7 and to the RSL: 
“Dear Sir/ Madam,

 I noticed on the news broadcast in Sydney tonight (23 April 2007) that the  badge of the Army– or the Australian Imperial Force at the time of the  ANZACs–  had been manipulated. The Crown at the centre of the badge had been removed and replaced with an "A".  This manipulated badge was employed both in the headline and in subsequent  captions. I find it very offensive that ATN 7 thinks it appropriate to modify that badge.  Several of my forbears, in the 1st and 2nd World Wars, served Australian  forces in the service of the Crown. I need not remind you that ANZAC  stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, being Corps of the  Imperial Forces. Those of my forbears who fought (and several died) for  the common principles of the Empire, as you will find inscribed on many  memorials, fought "For King and Empire". 
 I know that much of the media has continued to pursue a republican agenda, and to this end has sought to manipulate history and our national symbols  to purge them of our institutional and cultural heritage. Usually it is  just annoying, but in this instance it is outright offensive that so direct and glaring a   manipulation be made. It seems absolutely bizarre to me  that Channel 7 thinks it appropriate to remove the central symbol of the  Army badge and replace it with an "A".    After ATN 7’s recent misjudgements relating to a pre-dawn service, I would  have thought there would be a greater degree of caution over manipulating  the symbols of our national and institutional heritage.  Please, when employing the army badge in news coverage (appropriately  enough for ANZAC day coverage), do not modify it or play on it to satisfy  personal or commercial agendas. 
 Yours sincerely,

 David Caldwell.”
Mr. Caldwell says that in subsequent programmes, the badge was presented faithfully without modification.  It is of course unacceptable that even on one occasion the media should do this. During the referendum campaign, one newspaper had a daily column presenting the views of various people in the debate. It came out under the title “ Crown or Country” , with drawings of a Crown, and by way of contrast, an  Australian soldier’s slouch hat.  A major television network regularly filmed people in different locations putting as voting ball into plastic containers similarly marked.  The implication in each case was clear – patriotic Australians could only vote for the republic. But research undertaken by the ANU after the referendum concluded that those who voted “No” were more patriotic than those who voted “Yes.”


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