Should the Australian Flag Be Changed?
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The Australian flag was designed in 1901 after a competition was held to allow Australians to design our own flag – something that had never been done before. However, 116 years on and there is a debate on why the Australian flag should be changed. During this article, we will discuss both sides of the debate.
Why It Should be Changed
When we made history with holding a competition for designing our country’s flag there were two simple guidelines – to include the Southern Cross and Union Jack within the design and these alone offer reasons why the flag should now be changed.
Our current flag simply is not an aboriginal flag and therefore does not represent Aboriginal Australians. Our flag is sending the message that we are far prouder to be united with Great Britain than our own people. Australia is a multi-cultural country and we should show that through our country’s flag.
Furthermore, the Union Jack is a very big part of our flag which represents a message that is not important to our country. The Union Jack represents the uniting of England, Scotland and Ireland which forms Great Britain but this is simply not a key part of what it means to be Australian.
While people feel that it is important to show our relationship with Great Britain, our population is much more than that. Around 40% of our population were born within Europe, Asia, Africa and South America and migrated here. Showing our connection with Great Britain is much less vital than showing that we are the ‘Land of Migrants’.
Lastly, our flag is not at all recognisable and is far too similar to other flags. For example, the only thing telling our flag apart from New Zealand’s flag is the Australian Federation Star.
It is time that we should update our flag to accurately represent Australia how it is today and re-design it so that it is instantly recognisable.
Why It Should Not Be Changed
Before we rush into making the decision of changing our country’s flag, we should consider the history and story of it first. We held a competition which allowed citizens of Australia to design our flag, this alone shows the kind of people and country that we are. We were the first country in history to involve our people in the design process of our flag which shows that we are wanting our people to have a voice.
When people debate that our flag should be changed, it is argued as if it is a logo when it is much more than it – it is a national symbol of our country and not something that should be allowed to be changed so flippantly.
All of the aspects within the flags design has a significance to Australia. The Southern Cross is important to Aboriginal mythology and the Union Jack represents the European settlement that came from Great Britain which is reflected in our language, rule of law and system of parliament and government. Additionally, the Federation Star represents our democratic system.
If we allow the flag to be updated to reflect changes then our flag would be updated every 10 years and it certainly isn’t a quick change. If the change goes ahead, then there will be a lot of people getting assignments done for the project and it could take a long time before there is an agreed design and it being commercially ready.