“The Australian flag symbolises our pride in our nation and I encourage all Australians to celebrate the birthday of the flag on the 3rd of September,” declared His Excellency the Governor –General, Major General Michael Jeffery. “The design resulted from a competition in 1901 which attracted some 19 per cent of the population. Five entrants shared the honour of being declared the winners. They Included a 14-yearold schoolboy, a teenage apprentice, a ships officer, an architect and a female artist – each in themselves representing the very egalitarian nature of our society. Together, they created a lasting symbol of what it means to be Australian.” “Steeped in meaning, our flag proudly displays the Southern Cross to celebrate our 60,000-year place in the world; a seven point star to mark the great achievement of Federation; and the Union Flag to remind us that we have inherited precious traditions of parliamentary democracy, faith, law and language. It is fitting to recall the tribute paid by our national Parliament in 2001 to the Australian flag on its 100th birthday. It was acknowledged as a great symbol representing our achievements as a Federation, our independence and freedom as a people, and our optimism for a secure and prosperous future together. “The Australian Flag was declared our pre-eminent national symbol in times of adversity and war. peacetime and prosperity. Today, let us respect, celebrate and admire our beautiful flag and all it means to our nation.”Details of the celebrations of the Australian National Flag Day across the Commonwealth can be found on the website of the Australian National Flag Association , http://www.flagaustnat.asn.au/flagday2007main.php. You may also find messages from Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, the Prime Minister The Hon John Howard, the Leader of HM’s Australian Opposition, Federal Labor Leader , Mr Kevin Rudd MP, the Minister for Defence the Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP, the Minister for Education, Science & Training, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, the Premier of New South Wales the Hon Morris Iemma MP, the Leader of HM’s NSW Opposition, NSW, Mr Barry O'Farrell MP, and the Premier of Western Australia the Hon Alan Carpenter MLA. It is wonderful to see that support for the Fag is now bi-partisan, and that Labor seems to have abandoned the plans of the Keating government to change the flag without even a referendum. The next thing will be to see Labor abandon, as it eventually will, the misguided plan to throw out one of the world’s most successful constitutions. Labor should begin by cancelling its arrangement to outsource policy on this issue to the republican movement, led as it is by an endorsed Liberal candidate.