The Age is at it again. The nation’s leading republican broadsheet has been campaigning for years for the shredding of our national flag. But this time The Age has been joined by the Australian Republican Movement, now edging back to its previous open support for getting rid of the exisitng flag and replacing it with…just about anything.
The republican movement seems to be taking a similar position to better known republican celebrities such as Ray Martin and Peter FitzSimons, who are very open about flag change.
The republican movement unconvincingly suppressed any open support for flag change when they lost the 1999 referendum. But that changed on 5 February in a website controlled by a key national committee member David Donovan – until recently Deputy Chair and National Media Director.
He still speaks for the republican movement, for example, in his bitter personal attack on The Queen and Prince William on the ABC’s opinion site The Drum around the time The Queen was here. This has been promoted on the ARM site and through it, linked to his site.
And it’s now openly argued there that the best way for Australia to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 would be to “get ourselves a new flag — one which is not ambiguous like our current one.” (And to change into some undefined politicians’ republic)
But neither The Age nor the republican movement propose a specific republican model which they claim would improve the governance of the country. Nor do they have a new flag in mind.
It’s just that The Age detest the Crown and the national flag. It is very negative. They know what they want to destroy but don’t know what to replace the constitution and the flag with
So The Age, whose circulation continues to fall – see, has just commissioned a senior staff writer to produce a comment calling for a new flag, “Amid pride and prejudice, it's time for a new flag,” (4/2)
This relies on an unconvincing survey by a Perth-based academic, Farida Fozdar, who seems to be saying people who fly the Australian flag on their car are racists. The staff writer, Suzy Freeman-Greene, seems surprised that rank and file Australians were annoyed and upset by this exercise provocatively released for Australia Day.
The Age piece recalls another Australia Day republican stunt – this time in 2011- when certain former Australians of the Year joined a campaign for some unknown new flag. This only leads people to wonder whether a criterion for appointment for Australian of the Year these days is an ambition to shred the constitution and the flag, and abandon our heritage. Just what are our former Australians of the Year doing being so divisive on our national day? Haven't they got more sense of the occasion? Is it that the official Australia Day Councils have been captured by an out of touch elite?
Now that the republican movement is coming back to openly supporting flag change, will they be finally revealing which republican model they are proposing?
They have been hiding this for over twelve years.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald Business Section (10/2 republished with glee in The Australian on 11/2) "circulation of The Age’s Monday to Friday editions fell5.99% in the three months to December 31… while the Saturday Age fell 6.56%… and The Sunday age dropped 3.77%. At the Herald (also a hotbed of republicanism) circulation fell 11.94%… while the Sun Herald dropped 8.17%.