Should Australia have a new flag?
Australia is one of the few countries in the world where a change of the design of the national flag is advocated. National flags do change over time, usually reflecting a major change in the country's constitutional arrangements or government. Advocates of change in Australia believe that another flag design would be more effective in representing Australia than the current flag. Such proposals for change are rejected for two broad reasons - the status quo should endure because the case for change is not accepted and the national flag is symbolic of the nation and it should be honoured without alteration. Many supporters of the national flag do not make any distinction between the flag and the nation - they display the flag to demonstrate their patriotic support for Australia. Advocates of change claim to be equally patriotic, they only want to have a different flag to use.
The issue of a potential change is one that Flags Australia takes a strong interest in but, reflecting the mix of personal views of its members and a desire to be non-political, Flags Australia does not, as an entity, have an opinion - it neither supports a change of flag nor does it oppose such a change. It is however considered appropriate that Flags Australia provides expertise and a forum for debate and it fully reports both proposals for change and the views of advocates for the current flag. Flags Australia strives for balance in its coverage of the issue but does not resile from the view that the debate should be conducted with maximum respect and the arguments on both sides should be soundly based on correct facts about the history of flags in Australia and good design principles as they apply to flags. Emotions and politics legitimately play a role in connection with flags and ultimately the Australian political processes will determine the course of the flag debate.
The main arguments advanced in respect of a new flag, for and against, are summarised on the following pages. The text seeks to clearly express in summary form the opinions of each side of the flag debate, though neither text represents the views of Flags Australia. The texts have not been reviewed or authorised by either ANFA or Ausflag.
A number of the flag designs that have been proposed in the past are set out on the third page so as to provide an indication as to the range of designs that might result from any future formal process to change the design of the Australian National Flag. Inclusion of any proposed design on this website does not imply any advocacy or endorsement of a design.
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