I think it’s time for a change. I agree with Ray Martin who came out in the media this week calling for a change to the Australian flag which we have had since 1901.
While I wasn’t alive in 1901 I can understand the importance of having the Union Jack represented on the flag. We were still very much in our infancy as a nation and we were reliant on the British Empire for support and guidance. We had established our system of government based on the Westminster system, we had a prime minister just like England and the Queen and the monarchy were very much relevant. Much has changed.
Australia has grown up. We have fought in our own wars that Britain was not involved in (Vietnam) and we haven’t fought in wars that they were (Falkland Islands). We don’t look to Britain for guidance anymore. We don’t see the monarchy as relevant. Eventually we will end up as a republic. We make decisions based on what is good for Australia, not what is good for the Empire. We all know what happen at Gallipoli where our soldiers were slaughtered based primarily on British Orders.
Now I get as emotional as the next guy when I see the Australian flag raised at the Olympics when one of our athlete’s has won gold. I use to get goose bumps when Matthew Hayden would touch the flag each time he walked onto the field to bat in a test match but let’s be honest. I am not getting emotional about the design of the flag, but for what the flag represents. Australia. My home.
An argument for keeping the flag is that many diggers have died for the flag during many wars. I don’t believe they went to war for the flag itself. The flag represents Australia, no matter the design. These brave men and women fought for Australia, not the design of the flag itself. Perhaps on the flip side of that argument, you had men who did not volunteer for the army during World War 1 because it had the Union Jack on it. Perhaps there were men who did not want to fight under the banner of the British and as history now tells us, they were the smart ones.
I can feel for the Aboriginies who look at the Australian flag and for many they associate it with the time their country was invaded by the British. Why can’t we have a flag that represents all Australians? The Australian Prime Minister said sorry to the Aboriginal people in 2008 so doesn’t the next stage involve changing the flag as well?
Other countries have successfully changed their flags, most notably South Africa. Their new flag is one which represents all of their people both indigenous and those of European descent. It has brought their country together, under one flag. I am confident that this would also occur in Australia.
The current Australian flag was designed in 1901 and was the subject of a worldwide competition to design a new flag for the new nation of Australia which celebrated its federation that same year. Perhaps this could be the way the new Australian flag is decided upon. I have seen many suggestions and this blog is not to think about what the new flag would look like.
It is time for our nation to stand fully on our own. We thank Britain for their support and their guidance over the past 222 years and we will always support each other. We are all grown up now and we need a flag which is ours and ours alone.
No matter what, I will always love what our flag represents no matter its design. I would just like to see something without the Union Jack. It is no longer relevant to me.
So are you with me? Agree? Disagree? Let’s open up this debate.