The Age, 28 December 2005
Flagging a timely debate
Peter Maddock′s call for a new flag is timely, and a sensible debate on this subject should begin. With the inevitability of our eventually becoming a republic, we could kill two birds with the one stone, or even gild two lilies (depending on one′s enthusiasm: a nation with our own head of state and a flag commensurate with the population′s ethnicity).
Our ties with Britain are diminishing day by day and the notion that we have a "mother country" no longer applies. My grandchildren, as an example, are eighth-generation Australians and although they have ancestors whose exploits were first recorded in the Britain of the year 900, this doesn′t mean they – or any other Australians – owe any form of allegiance to any country other than their own. The flag they salute at school needs to be one that absolutely depicts this country. The present one is ambiguous and needs hauling down and replaced.
Barry Everingham, Malvern
Junk the Jack
Peter Maddock is right – the flag desperately needs to be changed, and the solution is simple. All that is needed is the removal of the Union Jack from the corner. The remaining offset Southern Cross is uniquely Australian and the vacant space left by the discarded Union Jack symbolises the fact that we have finally emerged as a nation that can stand up for itself, and is no longer tied to a country half a world away, that treats us as a colonial backwater and has its interests firmly focused in Europe and the EU. The legislation for the change can even come into force on January 26 – another reason to celebrate Australia Day.
And before the monarchists begin their predictable replies: no, history will not change, the sky will not fall in, and plague will not descend on the land.
Rob Whiting, Oak Park