Joshua Gibbins offers a young person's view on Australia Day and the good old Aussie flag. Not pleased at all is he with Ausflag's annual bleat about changing the flag to suit, to suit whom, he asks? GC.Ed.
I caught the bus on Australia day, it was a welcome change to sit back and observe all the things you dare not when driving and as I passed police stations and various government buildings I noticed they were flying new, clean Australian flags.
That beautiful blue background and the scarlet red of the union jack undamaged by the sun, standing proud in the breeze and every second or third car flying two smaller flags above the doors.
At my destination I became keenly aware that this was a special day. Flags everywhere, in shop windows, on women’s clothes, on food plates and even on pot plants would you believe? For those not in the mood to celebrate our birthday it would be near impossible to avoid so many flags on Australia day.
However, there exists a disgruntled minority among us who use Australia Day to cry for changes to our flag. I consider that to be unpatriotic, our current flag holds much history for Australia.
The Union jack represents Australia’s past as a former British nation, but more modernly it represent the traditions, values, and the systems of law that Australia adopted from Britain, the Great Empire of its time.
The seven-point commonwealth star represents the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Southern Cross represents Australia’s geographic location on this earth, although many nations have used the Southern Cross on other flags over the course of history.
The only organization in Australia that campaigns for a new flag is Ausflag, and like the republicans, they can’t decide on what new Australian flag should replace the true blue Australian flag.
This year’s attempt at changing the flag by Ausflag I have to say is refreshing, and outside the box argument, but, like all new things it has its flaws, and is extremely divisive to the national flag.
You can read about it here.
Ausflag’s plan to have a flag that Australian athletes would fly while competing in foreign countries is a divisive idea that could lead to even bigger problems than before, and is simply not practical.
Australia already has a sports flag, a green flag with a Kangaroo wearing boxing gloves so creating a new flag seems kind of silly when the current one is internationally recognised.
Furthermore, the Australian Defence Forces fly the national flag when on campaign, so I suppose the army will need a new flag like the sports athletes do, in the end where does that leave the national flag?
This is precisely the point the flag changers want.
The problem is; if you want to change the flag, what do you change it to? The sports flag or the army flag, or do you go for broke a make a completely new flag? In that case, what do you do with these new established flags? It’s all quite messy.
Ausflag and other flag changers will still be left with the same question, ‘what flag do you choose?’ So far most of the flag designs they have turned out sadly look like beach towels. And, Ausflag’s latest hatching looks more like a budget food label on a pickle jar than a thoughtful flag.
This though comes among other comments by Ausflag that said in the run-up to Australia Day that Australians should be embarrassed that the dictator government of Fiji got there first and made the changes to their flag.
This is without asking the Fijian people though. Fiji United people’s party leader Mick Beddoes says most people in Fiji would not support a change to the current flag’
Everyone and anyone should use the current Australian flag if they wish, including Australian international sports teams. A perfect, powerful flag simply isn’t broken so stop trying to fix it.
Joshua is a 23-year-old constitutional monarchist studying a Diploma in Library and Cultural Studies.