Australian Flag Society

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Australian Flag Society
National Convenor Nigel Morris (since 2008)
Founded 4 July 2001 [As Australian National Flag Association (ACT) Inc] [1][2]
Headquarters PO Box 743
Gunnedah, New South Wales, Australia
2380
Ideology National conservatism
Website
www.flagsociety.org.au

The Australian Flag Society (AFS) was founded as an advocacy group to argue the case for a referendum and constitutional elevation for the existing flag of Australia.[3][4][5]

The website of the AFS states the following aims and objectives:

  • Making civics education, vexillogical and other resources available to organisations and the general public and considering all requests for grants of aid and materiel.
  • Due recognition of the Australian National Flag and observance of Australian National Flag Day, 3 September.
  • Facilitating contact between supporters of the Society to discuss ways to promote the Australian National Flag and patriotism in general.
  • Maintaining a general headquarters and preservation of the Society's collection.
  • Continuing to add to the body of knowledge through primary research.

Structure[edit]

The AFS is currently unincorporated;[6] it was originally constituted as the Australian Capital Territory branch of the Australian National Flag Association (ANFA).[1][2][3] However, on 15 July 2003, affiliation with ANFA was severed, and the organisation rebranded.[3][5][7]

Under the AFS constitution (adopted 25 October 2008),[8] the National Convenor may admit voting rights members and appoint from among their number officers of the Executive Council. In addition, members of the general public are able to subscribe to the AFS as supporters free of charge.[4]

Campaigns[edit]

Wounded Soldiers Gift Fund[edit]

In conjunction with Australian National Flag Day 2012, the AFS began an annual flag day charity appeal, making sales of postcards, flag related merchandise and receiving donations towards a gift and bereavement fund for wounded members of the Australian Defence Force.[9]

Civics education[edit]

Morris secured federal funding for the distribution of the "Our National Flag ... since 1901" video kit to all primary schools in Australia in 2002.[10][11][12]

The AFS proposed 22 August be proclaimed as "Captain Cook Day" in 2005 to commemorate the day explorer James Cook laid claim to the east coast of Australia as New South Wales on Possession Island in the name of King George III.[13]

National language, Holiday and Flag bill[edit]

On 30 April 2009 the AFS released their National Language, Holiday and Flag Bill, as the way forward in response to a petition of certain citizens calling for a parliamentary committee to review the Flags Act 1953 (Cth).[8] It proposes to amend the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (IMP) by way of modifiable provisions declaring English to be the national language, 26 January in each year to be Australia Day and the existing flag to be the Australian National Flag.[14][15][16]

Under the proposed legislative and constitutional refinements, it is envisaged that the Flags Act would remain on the statute books, to provide the construction sheet for the Australian National Flag which would be described in terms of its essential elements in the constitution, thereby settling the question of popular sovereignty in relation to the process for reviewing the design - in whole or in part - with a weighty body of legal opinion against the constitutionality of the current statutory rules in subsections 3(2) & (3),[17][18] which provide for an instant-runoff for choosing between the existing flag and one or more alternatives, on the basis of universal suffrage. As the device occupying the lower hoist is simply referred to as a "large white Commonwealth Star", the number of points on what is a well recognised heraldic symbol in its own right [19] could be varied by ordinary legislation, according to changes in membership of the Australian Federation, and not by a plebiscite as currently required, which would remove what has been criticised as an "anomalous and costly" impediment.[20]

Opposition to the recognition of other flags[edit]

In the lead up to the sesquicentenary of the Eureka Stockade in 2004, the AFS opposed moves to have the Eureka Flag officially recognised under the Flags Act 1953 (Cth).[21][22][23][24][25]

In 2008 the AFS lobbied members of the Tasmanian parliament for a public inquiry to be held in response to a motion proposed by Denison Labor MHA Lisa Singh to have the Australian Aboriginal Flag stand in Parliament House, Hobart.[8][26]

Search for the "Eureka Jack"[edit]

Image of flag arrangement at the Battle of the Eureka Stockade.
Main article: Eureka Jack

In 2013 the AFS announced a worldwide quest and $10,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of the Union Jack which was reportedly hoisted as a second flag at the Battle of the Eureka Stockade.[27]

Publications[edit]

  • What happened to the Eureka Jack? [28]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pickworth, Carin, "ACT student rapt with Aussie flag", The Canberra Times, 6 July 2001
  2. ^ a b http://www.australianflag.org.au/newsletter-2001/
  3. ^ a b c Kwan, Dr Elizabeth. Flag and Nation. University of New South Wales Press, 2006, p. 11
  4. ^ a b "Australian Flag Society". Flagsociety.org.au. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  5. ^ a b ACT Department of Justice and Community Safety, Office of Regulatory Services
  6. ^ According to the ACT Department of Justice and Community Safety, Office of Regulatory Services, the Australian Flag Society's incorporation ceased on 15 April 2005
  7. ^ Centenera, Jeff, "Colours lowered as ACT's flag group ordered to disband", The Canberra Times, 4 November 2002
  8. ^ a b c http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=43963562568
  9. ^ http://www.flagsociety.org.au/wounded_soldiers_gift_fund.htm
  10. ^ "History of Aussie flag to be given to schools", Canberra Sunday Times, 11 August 2002
  11. ^ "Civics | Our National Flag...since 1901". Curriculum.edu.au. 2005-06-14. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  12. ^ "Nigel Morris - On Line Opinion Author". Onlineopinion.com.au. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  13. ^ "Society Flags Captain Cook Day", The Canberra Times, 23 August 2005
  14. ^ "National Language, Holiday and Flag Bill". Flagsociety.org.au. 1998-03-24. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  15. ^ "Australian Flag Society responds to Ray Martin". Australian Conservative. 1998-03-24. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  16. ^ "No Republic! Australians for Constitutional Monarchy - The Flag and the Constitution". Norepublic.com.au. 2010-06-23. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  17. ^ http://www.ausflag.com.au/government_accepts_advice.asp
  18. ^ http://www.ausflag.com.au/government_to_preserve_flag.asp
  19. ^ http://www.ausflag.com.au/reply_to_ausflag_letter.asp
  20. ^ http://www.ausflag.com.au/open_letter_to_the_pm.asp
  21. ^ "Eureka flag proposal puts critics in a flap - Local News - News - General". The Courier. 2004-07-21. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  22. ^ Best, Catherine (2003-03-05). "Liberal MP rubbishes Eureka flag proposal - Local News - News - General". The Courier. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  23. ^ "Ronaldson slams King over flag campaign - Local News - News - General". The Courier. 2003-03-06. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  24. ^ "Eureka: An historic distraction - On Line Opinion - 3/12/2004". On Line Opinion. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  25. ^ "No Republic! Australians for Constitutional Monarchy - Eureka - Australia's Historical Distraction". Norepublic.com.au. 2004-08-10. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  26. ^ "Flag motion procedural, says Polley - Local News - News - Politics - The Examiner Newspaper". Examiner.com.au. 2008-09-27. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  27. ^ http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/1858615/10000-reward-to-track-down-the-other-eureka-flag
  28. ^ http://www.flagsociety.org.au/what_happened_to_the_eureka_jack.pdf

External links[edit]