Once again, the republicans have let the cat out of the bag. They've learned their lesson of the 90s. There are two fundamental points.
The first is sneaky – leave changing the flag until after they have achieved a politicians' republic.
The second is that their only argument is about an Australian head of state.
That's why ACM's consistent argument that we already have an Australian head of state is so important.
We would not argue this if it were not correct. We have very strong legal advice that the Governor-General is the Australian head of state.
If you have any doubt that this is and will always be the republicans' only serious argument, just look at the official Yes case in the 1999 referendum.
It's not argued once there. It's argued nine times. The republicans laboured this as the referendum approached. By then they had abandoned all of their other arguments.
The chief media flag bearers of republicanism these days are The Sydney Morning Herald and the Age.
On 30 May 2014 they gave their aside a full page for their current chief Republican strategist Rhys Muldoon piece to editorialise on the gist of the current Republican campaign.This no doubt represents the views of the broadsheets.
He wrote: ''Yet I, for one, think it wise to hold off on debate over the flag. While I think our flag is very attractive, it would, of course, have to change. To what, I don’t know. But I do think the flag design can come later. At the moment the question is very simple, and should be simple. It is this: Do we want an Australian head of state? That’s it. Yes or No. If we agree that we do, we then move forward. But let’s not get lost in the whos and hows just yet.''
Sneaky isn't it? And note the absolute centrality of the head of state argument.