New State Flags?

Although all Australian States currently have flags, these flags are all very similar in appearance (especially at a distance) and are not particularly well known amongst the public. As a result, they do not generally lend themselves towards engendering public pride in their home State. For example, they are almost never waved at interstate sporting events.

All current State flags, except for South Australia, predate Australian Federation, and are unarguably colonial flags (i.e. a British Blue Ensign defaced with the colony's seal or badge on the fly) as they were designed to satisfy the requirements of the British Colonial Naval Defence Act of 1865.

As the Australia Act of 1986, passed both here and in the UK, finally ended the States' technical status as British colonies, Ausflag believes that it is time to consider whether the current flag designs are still appropriate.

It is also illuminating to consider that all of Australia's post-Federation flags (Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, Norfolk Island and Christmas Island) do not include the Union Flag.

The call by Ausflag for new state flags received a considerable boost when an AGB-McNair survey in NSW revealed an appalling recognition rate for the current British Blue Ensign based NSW flag. Only 12% of NSW residents could describe the NSW flag with any accuracy, and even when shown six British Blue Ensign flags, only 43% could correctly identify the NSW flag.

Shortly after this poll was taken, the Sydney Morning Herald published an Editorial which unambiguously called upon the NSW Government to initiate steps to adopt a new state flag for NSW in view of the failure of the incumbent flag. Ausflag issued a media release which unreservedly endorsed the Editorial position of the Sydney Morning Herald.

New State flags would not mean new State badges are required. Even if new State flags were adopted, all current uses of the existing State Badges could continue and the Australian Coat of Arms would not need to be redesigned. This would minimise disruption and expense and provides a sense of continuity.

Proposed designs for new state flags can be found at Brendan Jones' New Australian Flags site.