Flag Day (Australia)
|Australian National Flag Day|
Martin Place, Australian National Flag Day 2013
|Type||Patriotic, Historical, Nationalist|
|Significance||Anniversary of the first flying of the Australian National Flag in 1901|
|Observances||Flag raising ceremonies|
|Next time||3 September 2014|
In Australia, Australian National Flag Day is celebrated on 3 September. It commemorates the day in 1901 on which the Australian National Flag was first flown. On that day Prime Minister Edmund Barton announced the winners of a competition to design a flag for Australia. A large flag, 5.5 by 11 metres (18 by 36 ft), was flown over the dome of the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne.
Australian National Flag Day is not a public holiday.
The idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Australian National Flag dates from 1984. In that year John Christian Vaughan, a noted vexillographer and historian, arranged for the New South Wales branch of the Australian National Flag Association (ANFA) to observe 3 September as "Australian National Flag Day" at a public ceremony held in Hyde Park, Sydney. In several newspaper articles, radio and television appearances over the following years, Vaughan continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of 3 September as Australia's National Flag Day.
Vaughan encouraged all the other state branches of the ANFA to promote and organise Flag Day ceremonies for members and the general public to participate in. The recognition and popularity of Flag Day continued to grow with each passing year and in 1989 the Governor of New South Wales, Sir David Martin, delivered a Flag Day address at Tumbalong Park, Sydney in which he said, "I come here as someone who is proudly Australian, I come here out of respect for a flag which is proudly Australian".
On Flag Day 1996 an official ceremony took place in the Martin Place Amphitheatre in the centre of Sydney. On that occasion David Jull, Minister for Administrative Services, read a message from the Prime Minister, John Howard. He then presented the ANFA with a copy of the proclamation by Sir William Deane.
Ceremonies are held annually in schools, major centres, and the Governor-General, Governors and some politicians attend or release statements to the media.
- Australian Government (12 August 2013). "Australian National Flag: Australian National Flag Day". It's an Honour!: Australia Celebrating Australians. Retrieved 3 September 2013.