March 18

Our flag dates from Federation


For some reason republicans try to argue that our Flag only dates from 1953, the year of the Flag Act. Not so, as Sir Robert Menzies, the Prime Minister explained, the Flag Act put into legislative form what was established and authorised by Royal Proclamation after a public competition following Federation.

Sir Robert was supported by the Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition, Dr HV Evatt. 




 Sir Robert addressed Parliament on 20 November 1953 in these words:

''The Bill is very largely a formal measure which puts into legislative form what has become almost the established practice in Australia.

At the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia, the attention of the Australian Government was directed to the necessity to adopt an Australian flag.

As a result, an advertisement was published in the Government Gazette which invited the submission of competitive designs for two Australian flags, one for naval and official purposes and the other for the mercantile marine.

It is interesting to record that 30,000 entries were received on that occasion, and the judges recommended that the prize for the winning design should be divided among five persons.

They were Mrs. Annie Dorrington, of Perth, Mr. William Stevens of Auckland, Mr. Leslie J. Hawkins of Melbourne, Mr. Ivor Evans, of Melbourne, and Mr. E. J. Nuttall, of Melbourne.

The design adopted was submitted to His Majesty King Edward VII. and he was pleased to approve of it as the Australian flag in 1902…"


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