December 7

Republicans attack our flag again

Back in the nineties, the republicans were quite open about their hatred of our flag. They were actually going to change it without our consent.

According to a report by Mike Seccombe, in the Sydney Morning Herald of 6 June 1994,(NEW FLAG ON TRACK: BEAZLEY) the then Minister for Finance, Mr. Kim Beazley, insisted that in spite of strong public opposition, “The Government was sticking to its timetable for changes to Australia’s Constitution and flag by the end of the century."

When he became PM, John Howard introduced the legislation he had tried to in opposition to ensure we are consulted –and have to approve –any change in what is after all not the property of the republican politicians -our flag.

And now Mr. Beazley is frequently seen on television with one and sometimes two carefully placed Australian flags. But it did not take long for the republicans to re-start their campaign against our Flag.

First it was The Age, whose editor admitted that if the republicans were successful in persuading us to throw out our constitutional system, the flag would have to follow.

Now  Leo Schofield, in his column in The Bulletin released on 23 November, 2005, tells us of what he wanted after he watched the recent soccer or football game when Australia defeated Uruguay.

You guessed it-what Leo wants is a new flag.

Not that our Leo is keen on them anyway. He prefaces his wish with the lament of the true cosmopolitan:”…if we must have a national flag…”

That would be the view of an infinitesimal proportion of the population. Even the Canberra Press Gallery might not agree.

Well if we must have a national Flag, Leo wants one that is distinctive, as if we did not have that. I find the continetal tricolours confusing and not very attractive, but that is their business.

Leo wants one, if we must have one, that will “engender pride and be unequivocal in its message to the world.”

That is just what we have, Leo. You have Buckley’s chance of changing it.

He laments that this government won’t change it.

I doubt whether any future republican PM would dare repeal the requirement that we must approve any change, and that the present flag be one or the choices.

We have to watch that.

The republicans are now planning to force on us a plebiscite where the existing constitutional system won’t be one of the choices.

Can you believe such an underhand proposal?

Until next time,

David Flint

 


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