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Saturday, December 22, 2012

UNITY THROUGH DIVERSITY


THIS IS OUR FLAG

THIS IS OUR FLAG
Three important symbols – the Union Jack, the Southern Cross and the Commonwealth Star together form the Australian National Flag:
The Australian National Flag symbolises our country's values and traditions. It acknowledges our history as well as the birth of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1 901. It has inspired generations of Australians since it was first flown on 3 September 1901, a day we commemorate each year as 'Flag Day'. It unifies a people with a heritage as diverse as any on earth and exemplifies the nation's commitment to egalitarianism, tolerance, freedom and opportunity for all.


The flag quickly became an important symbol of the new nation. Appreciation for the flag and what it stands for has increased as the nation has matured. It was proclaimed as the Australian National Flag in the Flags Act 1953. For the first half century of its existence the flag was flown by the Commonwealth Government from official establishments. Today it is displayed in
schools, public buildings, community halls, the premises of community associations and a growing number of private homes - a clear demonstration of our national unity and common purpose.

The flag is not just flown from flagpoles. It can be displayed at functions, on a staff or a flag rope or even suspended vertically in the middle of a street. It is often carried in processions or parades. It expresses our joy and pride at international sporting events at home and overseas. It also expresses the nation's sorrows when it is flown at half-mast or draped over a coffin. It
is important that it is treated with respect and dignity.

Every day in every community throughout the nation an Australian National Flag flies to remind us of what it means to be an Australian.

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL FLAG
National Flag of Australia

The Ceremonial Flag of State of the Commonwealth of Australia

On 3 September 2001 the specially commissioned Centenary Flag, a gift from the Australian National Flag Association, flew from the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne to commemorate the first flying of the flag 100 years earlier. It reaffirms the importance of unity and common purpose through the embellishment of the headband with a cardinal red stripe to represent the thread of kinship that stands at the heart of the federation.

The Centenary Flag was accepted by the Prime Minister on behalf of the people of Australia and is flown on special occasions. It has been flown in each of the states and territories and made its first overseas journey to be flown at the dedication of the Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park in London on 11 November 2003. It represents the nation at significant events and its history will be recorded in a special ledger for future generations.

Commonwealth Flag Network

Become a member of the Commonwealth Flag Network and receive immediate advice on how to fly the Australian National Flag on special occasions. You will receive an email
message at the same time that all Flag Marshals around Australia are notified of the flag protocol for special occasions such as Anzac Day and NAIDOC week.

THE DESIGN

A flag that acknowledges our past, affirms our unity as a nation, describes our geographical position in the world and our hopes for the future.

VETERANS ON ANZAC DAY 1998
Veterans on Anzac Day 1998

The Union Jack


The Australian National Flag has the Union Jack (the flag of the United Kingdom) in the

upper left -hand quarter nearest the flagpole. Acknowledging our history is an important

element in the flag and was a feature of the most well-known pre-federation flags, such

as the National Colonial flag and the Anti-Transportation League flag.

The Southern Cross


Four seven-pointed stars arranged in a cross, together with a smaller five-pointed star

appear on the right-hand side of the flag to represent the Southern Cross, which is a

constellation that can be seen only in the night skies of the Southern Hemisphere. Like

the Union Jack it was a common feature in early flags.

The Commonwealth Star


Below the Union Jack is a single large star representing the States of Australia. Initially it

had six points representing the six States and in 1908 a seventh point was added to

represent Commonwealth Territories. It is sometimes called the Federation Star. The

Star is an important part of the flag as it affirms our unity as a nation.


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Any member of the community can request a copy of the book Australian flags through their Federal Member or Senator. The book has information on flag history and protocols.
For more information about the flag log on to www.itsanhonour.gov.au

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