Australian Flags

Good afternoon everyone, it is another hot day here, Kelli and Daemon are home again and Jessica said that she and Leo will stay here tonight which is all good with me. Ok let’s move onto today’s post what should I write about I am thinking Australia’s flags yes there is more than one Australian flag, did you know that.

The Australian National Flag is Australia’s foremost national symbol. It was first flown in 1901 and has become an expression of Australian identity and pride.

The Australian National Flag flies over the federal and state parliaments. The flag is paraded by our defence forces and displayed around the country at sporting events and by service organisations, schools, community groups and private citizens.

The Australian National Flag has three elements on a blue background: the Union Jack, the Commonwealth Star and the Southern Cross.

The Union Jack in the upper left corner (or canton) acknowledges the history of British settlement.

Below the Union Jack is a white Commonwealth or Federation star. It has seven points representing the unity of the six states and the territories of the Commonwealth of Australia.

There are some other Australian flags, under Section 5 of the Flags Act 1953; the Governor-General may proclaim flags other than the National Flag and the Red Ensign as flags or ensigns of Australia. Five flags have been appointed in this manner. The first two were the Royal Australian Navy Ensign and the Royal Australian Air Force Ensign, the flags used by the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. The Australian Army has no ensign of their own, but they are given the ceremonial task to be the defender of the National Flag. The Air Force and the Navy flew the appropriate British ensigns (the White Ensign and the Royal Air Force Ensign) until the adoption of similar ensigns based on the Australian National Flag in 1948 and 1967 respectively. The current Navy and Air Force Ensigns were officially appointed in 1967 and 1982 respectively.

In 1995, the Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag were also appointed flags of Australia. While mainly seen as a gesture of reconciliation, this recognition caused a small amount of controversy at the time, with then opposition leader John Howard describing it as divisive.  Some indigenous people, such as the flag’s designer Harold Thomas, felt that the government was appropriating their flag, saying it “doesn’t need any more recognition”

The Australian Defence Force Ensign was proclaimed in 2000. This flag is used to represent the Defence Force when more than one branch of the military is involved, such as at the Australian Defence Force Academy, and by the Minister for Defence.

The Legislative Instruments Act 2003 required the proclamations of these flags to be lodged in a Federal Register. Due to an administrative oversight they were not, and the proclamations were automatically repealed. The Governor-General issued new proclamations dated 25 January 2008, with effect from 1 January 2008 (or 1 October 2006 in the case of the Defence Force Ensign).

The Red Ensign was the only flag private citizens could fly on land.] By traditional British understanding, the Blue Ensign was reserved for Commonwealth Government use, with State and local governments, private organisations and individuals all using the Red Ensign. As an example, the explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins planted a red ensign in Antarctica.[7] However, the official painting of the opening of Australia’s new Parliament House in 1927 shows only Red Ensigns and Union Flags being flown. 

There was some confusion over appropriate use of the ensigns until the Flags Act 1953 set the Blue Ensign as the national flag, and the Red Ensign as the flag of the Australian mercantile marine. Red ensigns continued to be used in Anzac Day marches into the 1960s.

Technically, private non-commercial vessels were liable to a substantial fine if they did not fly the British Red Ensign. However, an Admiralty Warrant was issued on 5 December 1938, authorising these vessels to fly the Australian Red Ensign. The Shipping Registration Act 1981 reaffirmed that the Australian Red Ensign was the proper “colours” for commercial ships over 24 metres (79 ft) in tonnage length.

There has been talk in the last few years of changing our flag, which annoys me I like our flag and I can’t see the point in changing it.

So how many flags does your country have?


8 thoughts on “Australian Flags

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