Does the Australian National Flag have any relevance to the current debate as to whether or not Australia should change its current form of government to that of a republic? In reality, the answer is no. However, it is very difficult to separate the two emotionally. Some will tell you that if Australia becomes a republic it does not have to change the design of its flag. Equally, others will tell you that Australia should change its flag because it is no longer relevant and that such a change should occur whether or not Australia becomes a republic. It is also very difficult to separate the two when such high profile republican advocates such as the likes of Mr Nick Greiner and Mr Nicholas Whitlam who, through their direct support of Ausflag, continually try to hoist yet another flag design on this country.
The never-ending hoisting of new flag designs by Ausflag is not unlike the management of a company deliberating on designs for a new logo for re-launching an old and well-proven product. But flags are not simply logos. Flags have travelled a long and historic path and have far more meaning than mere corporate logos. Most flags in use today evolved from the nationalist and revolutionary movements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. If we are to compare national flags with logos then we may as well compare them with underwear and change them daily!
Despite Australia's relative small population, we have managed to strut our stuff quite successfully on the international stage on a wide range of categories including, invention, business, sport and the arts. Our ability to have achieved such international success is due entirely to the makeup of our people and their determination to succeed - it has not been as a result of our constitution or our flag with the exception that our constitution has provided for one of the most freest of nations on this earth which, in turn, has provided the avenue for success.
That is what democracy is all about. It is not about navel-gazing! Accordingly, there can be no mistake about this country and its identity overseas. We are what we are. We are not and can never be the mind-set of some unimaginative back room thinking of political parties and our social engineers. Above and beyond all we are Australians! Anyway, who cares if some other country wishes to use part of our flag as their own; we should be honoured!