Why do Australian Republicans constantly try to mislead Australians about our flag? In this clip about the superb celebrations in Sydney organised by The Australian National Flag Association on 2 September 2011 for the birthday of our flag, you will see a leading republican claim that the King – and not the Australian people – chose our flag. This of course is completely untrue.
And note, incidentally, that the republican flag changers do not tell the people what new flag they want. They just tell us about their hatred for the flag which has been with us from the very year in which the Commonwealth of Australia was born.
In announcing the conditions of the Flag contest in the Commonwealth Government Gazette of 29 April 1901, our first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton said:
"The award of the Board (of Judges) will be final and the prize given in accordance with their decision, even if the design be not accepted by the Imperial authorities (in Great Britain)."
And that is what happened. The winning design was essentially the flag we see today which on 3 December 1901 was raised over the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne.
Later, on 20 February 1903 the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No. 8 announced that that King Edward VII had by Proclamation approved the design for the Flag of Australia. The King, of course, was acting as a constitutional monarch, that is on the advice of his ministers. He certainly did not "choose the Australian flag."
The flag was changed slightly in 1908 by the addition of a seventh point to the Federation Star to represent the Australian Territories. The other six points represented the Australian states.
On 2 December 1953 the Flags Act 1953 merely clarified that Australia's National Flag was in fact the Blue Ensign while the Red Ensign was to be flown at sea by Australian commercial ships.Yet the Australian Republican Movement, against all the evidence denies generations of Australians fought under the Australian Flag .
This is in their current campaign against the Australian Flag which can be found in their 2011 Essential Republic Handbook. They even claim there that “the current flag was not the flag during World War 1 or World War 2.”
This of course is as ridiculous as saying that the addition of a new star to United States flag to represent a new state means that this is a completely different flag.
…official finding – republicans misled the people…
The Australian Republican Movement and its leading members actively campaigned in support of a new flag in the 90s. They now claim that this is no longer on their agenda.
But the ARM is only part of the push for republicanism, and in recent years a dwindling and less influential part.Australian Republicans have a history of attempting to mislead the Australian people concerning their Australian National Flag.
In 2010 on the eve of Anzac Day, leading republicans broadcasting on Channel 9 misled the Australian people concerning the origins of our Flag.
The Australian Communication and Media Authority subsequently found that in the Channel 9 60 Minutes program, Ray Martin had misled the people in the failing to indicate the Commonwealth government's involvement in the original competition – Ray Martin had denigrated this as a mere magazine competition.
ACMA also found there was insufficient evidence to support Ray Martin's contention that there was an ‘unwritten rule’ in relation to the competition that the flag design must Include the Union Jack.
…flag most beautiful…
The truth is the Australian flag has been with us almost as long as we have been a federal Commonwealth. It is the only flag in the world for a continent. It is, as the great leader of the Australian Labor Party Dr H V Evatt said in 1953:
“The flag that is now Australia's national flag, which is based on the Blue Ensign, is a very beautiful flag. It is probably the most beautiful flag in the world.”