When the winning entry to the was announced the initial reception was mixed. The then republican magazine
a staled rchauff of the British flag, with no artistic virtue, no national significance. Minds move slowly: and Australia is still Britain\’s little boy. What more natural than that he should accept his father\’s cut-down garments, lacking the power to protest, and only dimly realising his will. That bastard flag is a true symbol of the bastard state of Australian opinion. Initially the Department of Defence resisted, considering it to be a marine ensign and favouring King\’s Regulations that specified the use of the Union Jack. After being approached by the Department of Defence, Prime Minister Chris Watson stated in parliament that he was not satisfied with the design of the Australian flag and that implementation of the 1904 resolution could wait until consideration was given to \”adopt another [flag] which in our opinion is more appropriate. \” On 14 April 1954 the Flags Act 1953 (Cth) became law after receiving all-party support. Tabling the legislation in parliament, the Prime Minister, stated: \”The bill is very largely a formal measure which puts into legislative form what has become almost the established practice in Australia. \” The first proposal for a new Australian flag was made in 1956 by the Republican Socialist League. It was an evolutionary design in which the Union Jack was replaced with the Commonwealth Star. The Bulletin magazine launched an Australian National Flag Quest on 1 August 1971 in time for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to open the Sydney Opera House in October 1973; 10 designs were chosen from the 2,000 submitted and these were displayed by major stores in the capital cities and main provincial centres during 1972. At the July 1982 of the in Canberra, the party changed its policy platform in regard to national symbols to: \”Initiate and Support moves to establish with popular acceptance an Australian flag. which will more distinctively reflect our national independence and identity. \” [ It was reported in The Australian newspaper on 28 January 1984 that, \”It is understood that Federal Cabinet will soon decide how best to ignite the debate on the pros and cons of changing the flag before the issue is put to a national vote before the 1988 bicentenary year.
The Minister for Housing and Construction Mr Chris Hurford publicly revealed yesterday that the Government had not allowed economic discussions to completely swamp cabinet debate on the flag. \” The prime minister, subsequently announced in the House of Representatives that the design of the Australian flag would not be reviewed by the Australian government before or during the bicentenary year. Paul Keating publicly championed the cause of a new flag during his term as prime minister, including on a state visit to Indonesia. He was quoted as saying: I do not believe that the symbols and the expression of the full sovereignty of Australian nationhood can ever be complete while we have a flag with the flag of another country on the corner of it. On 6 June 1994, the Sydney Morning Herald reported the deputy prime minister, as saying that the Labor government was committed to its timetable for changes to Australia\’s flag by the Centenary of Federation in 2001; beyond commissioning a national survey that year, no further action was taken. In opposition from 19831996, coalition MPs unsuccessfully sponsored 10 private members bills to amend the Flags Act 1953 (Cth) to prevent the existing Australian flag from being replaced by the agreement of both houses of federal parliament alone, without the views of the Australian people being taken into account. Frequent polls showed the percentage of Australians wanting a new flag increasing from 27% in 1979 to 42% in 1992, to a majority of 52% in 1998. In response to polls showing increasing support for a new flag, the Coalition government under established in 1996 and introduced legislation, the Flags Amendment Bill 1996, to make a change more difficult. In 2002, the Howard government supplied ANFA\’s promotional video free to all primary schools and in 2004 required all schools receiving federal funds to fly the Australian flag.
On 24 March 1998, the Flags Amendment Bill 1996 received. Malcolm Turnbull, former chairman (19932000) of the Australian Republican Movement and head of the official \”Yes\” case committee for the 1999 Australian republic referendum, left the board of Ausflag in 1994 after being asked for his resignation and in 2004 joined the Australian National Flag Association. A 2010 that asked: \”Do you think Australia should have a new design for our National Flag? \” was supported by 29% of respondents and opposed by 66%, with 5% uncommitted. In 2015, with the in New Zealand continuing, discussion on the Australian Flag has risen in the media. This includes the issue being raised publicly by Labor MP. AustraliaБs flag will never change, Malcolm Turnbull has said, dismissing a new design that drops the Union Jack. The not-for-profit group Ausflag released a new design on Friday, telling Australia it was time to Бgrow upБ and shed symbols of British dominance. The groupБs executive director, Harold Scruby, rejected criticism of the timing of its release, saying was the perfect opportunity for such a debate. БFor those idiots who tell us we shouldnБt be debating it on this day, itБs the lowest form of censorship,Б Scruby, told Guardian Australia. БOn what day should we debate it? Maybe Bastille Day? Or American Independence Day? Б The new design makes a simple but fundamental change to the flag. The Union Jack is dropped, replaced with the Commonwealth Star and an enlarged Southern Cross, against a dark navy background. Ausflag described the design as minimalist and БevolutionaryБ, celebrating egalitarianism over aristocracy, and independence over dominance. Scruby said the current flag symbolised Australia as a British colony. БThe first point is we need Specsavers because we, as a nation, have a serious case Б the thing is almost incurable Б of myopia,Б he said.
БThe emperor stands before us completely naked and no one sees the Union Jack. Б He said it was almost beyond belief that Australia was one of only three nations in the commonwealth clinging to such a flag. БItБs almost unbelievable and the minute you bring it up people shout you down almost as if itБs heresy. And I say, БDidnБt we change the national anthem in 1984? ББ But Turnbull immediately dismissed the campaign, saying he could not see a time when the flag would ever change. Turnbull was once a director of Ausflag, but quit the organisation in 1994. He later joined the Australian National Flag Association, which seeks to preserve the current flag. On Friday, Turnbull said young Australians did not see the Union Jack as representative of another country. БThatБs the one they have on their backpacks when theyБre travelling overseas, thatБs the flag that our soldiers have on their shoulder patches, that is our flag,Б he said. БSo, I think Б I think the Australian flag will be flying over Parliament House long after all of us have shuffled off the stage of history. Б The campaign to change the flag has a long history. Twenty years ago, the Indigenous leader Lowitja OБDonoghue said the current flag symbolised a Бnarrow slice of our historyБ in which the rights of Indigenous people were overlooked. БFor this reason, most of AustraliaБs Indigenous people cannot relate to the existing flag,Б she said. БFor us, it symbolises dispossession and oppression. БAnd it just doesnБt reflect the reality of Australian life in the late 1990s. Б he did not support changing the flag. He said it had a Бlot of emotion behind it with military people serving and dying under itБ. БAnd I know from this debate weБre having about changing the date that it will be a very nasty and very disgraceful discussion,Б Mundine said. But Scruby said the original Australian flag, the Red Ensign, had a red background and was not changed until after the second world war.