Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK AFC
Prime Minister Abbott - "To be an Australian is to have won the lottery of life!"

Could this be our new flag?

Could this be our new flag?  Peter Fitzsimons doesn't like the one we've got.

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Yup. Yup. Yup.

Every bloody Australia Day! Yet more discussion on why we need to change the Australian flag to something more emblematic of the nation we are – multicultural and cognisant of our Indigenous history – and not the nation we were – Great Britain in the South Seas. What is wrong with people that they think having the flag of another nation as the key feature on our own flag is a tad on the sad side in the 21st century? How unpatriotic can you get?

So this year, let's not. Let's take it as given that sensible people can see that the case for change is overwhelming.

Instead – in this centenary year of Anzac – let me just raise one quick counter-point to those who always, against change, are seduced by the sophomoric argument that, "our Diggers fought and died for that flag".

They didn't. At least not broadly, not in the Iwo Jima sense, nor in the sense of "the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there".

In six books on World War I and World War II, I am yet to come across a passage in any contemporary diary or letter or newspaper account where the Australian flag was remotely significant. In the First World War, the flag we know today was barely known to Australians as a people, let alone soldiers rallying around it.

As Mike Carlton – the great man! – pointed out in his book, First Victory, on the occasion of the arrival in Sydney Harbour of the flagship of the Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Australia, just before that war began, the Herald itself felt obliged to explain that while the proud White Ensign of the King's navy flew from her mainmast, from her foremast there was another ...