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Talk:Australian flag debate

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Proposed flags

Would it be appropriate to add some proposed "new" flags to this page? For example, the ones at . The only flag that isn't currently in existence on the page is the Aboriginal/Australia flag hybrid, which for many reasons is inappropriate (Aboriginal flag is copyrighted; top-left corner implies subordination; etc). It should probably stay on the page in its own section, describing WHY it is inappropriate. -- Chuq 05:09, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

The question is how to decide which to include or not include. The various Ausflag competition designs are the ones that have had the most publicity, so perhaps they are the best option. JPD (talk) 11:45, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Posting Ausflag's designs on there could set a precedence for everyone uploading their design. It's best to leave it alone (unless an article is created under "Proposed Flags of Australia").To be honest, aside from a few genuinely good designs the vast majority look horrendous - vexillogically speaking, of course (is that even a word???). Dragases 09:14, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
I am inclined to agree with you that they don't need to be added. However, what you or I think of the designs is irrelevant - the issue is whether they are important enough to be mentioned. JPD (talk) 22:48, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Flag not displaying?

Is it just me, or is the second flag under "Arguments in favour of changing the flag" not showing up? -- Chuq 22:09, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

It's not just you. All I see is white.--cj | talk 00:48, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I notice it shows up here:
But not here:
May be a wikimedia commons thing with svg's? -- Chuq 01:26, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
It appears for me on its image subpage in both Wikipedia and Commons. It just doesn't show up in the article. --cj | talk 01:28, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, I just went to save the image to attempt to upload it under a better name (as well as see if it fixed this issue) and found that the name of the file is 800px-Flag_of_Australian_republic_supporters.svg.png - note the png extension - I will rename and re-upload and see how it goes -- Chuq 01:47, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Done. The flag now displays properly, and is under a more appropriately descriptive filename -- Chuq 01:58, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
That's not the problem - Wikipedia displays svg images by creating png images. Look at the Australian flag - the image shown there is is "800px-Flag of Australia.svg.png", yet the image displays properly. There must be something funny going on. I've noticed images on a few other pages not displaying as well. JPD (talk) 08:48, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Anti-British/Republican Bias?

In the paragraph "Replacing the Union Flag with the Aboriginal Flag", it says "the suggestion is well intentioned — it implies removal of British ties". Why does implying removal of British ties make it well intentioned?

It doesn't and I removed it for being non-NPOV. JAJ 01:59, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

I quite agree. Why was using the Union Jack in the Australian flag design neccesarily a bad idea?

Why is the black flag better then the British flag?

Indeed. Im very proud of ties to the old country and I don't make any excuses for it. 04:45, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Once again, please keep your personal opinions to yourself. This is not the place for that - 52 Pickup 14:08, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Let's keep to the facts?

This "Abandoning the flag would insult the memory of the nation's 102,000 war dead." from the Arguments in favour of changing the flag, is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read in an encyclopaedia. Unless there's good argument to keep such a line, I'm going to remove it. Dgen 03:25, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree it is ridiculous, but it is an argument that the pro-flag crew keep raising. There is no good argument for it, but as it is one of the emotional arguments used, I think it should remain. Gillyweed 03:51, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Dgen, if that sentence appeared by itself, it would be ridiculous, but you have quoted it out of context. It appears in a list of things that "supporters of the current version of the national flag argue". We are reporting on the arguments used, not suggesting that they have any merit. JPD (talk) 09:36, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Point taken. How about giving the line it's own bullet point? I may be wrong, but to me it looks like it's presented as 'here's the argument for keeping the flag' (the part about the navy) then 'here's the fact supporting that argument' (insulting the war dead). If it's made into it's own bullet point then it's clearly part of the 'arguments used' list and not presented as fact. Of course, if I'm the only person seeing it that way, I'll leave it be. Cheers. Dgen 11:26, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, I reckon the argument that Australia should change her flag because it looks like New Zealand's is ridiculous given the number of indistinguishable, lookalike national flags there in the world - Indonesia and Monaco have identical flags!

So leave the case for the existing Australian flag in the hands of it's supporters I say. 14:49, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Southern Cross and aboriginies

The Southern Cross was known to ancient aboriginies and features in at least 5 of their traditional legends that I know of, including the story of Mululu and his 4 daughters. When I mention this in the article somebody keeps taking it out.

Here's the story anyway (not many modern, urban aboriginies seem to know this one):

Mululu, the leader of the Kandra tribe, had four daughters of whom he was very fond, but to his sorrow he had no son. When he grew old, he called his daughters together to discuss their future. He said that he expected to die soon, so, since they had no brother to protect them from the spite and jealousies of the women or from being forced into marriage with a man whom they disliked, he wanted them to leave the earth when he died and to meet him in the sky. The father then explained that, with the aid of spirits of the night, he had recently visited a clever medicine-man, Conduk, who was willing and able to help the girls reach their new home.

When their father died, the daughters set out to find Conduk, whose camp was far away to the north. They had to travel many days before they reached it, and they recognised Conduk by the long thick beard by which their father had described him. Resting beside his camp was a huge pile of silver-grey rope, which the medicine-man had plaited form the long hairs of his own beard. One end of the rope reached up into the sky.

The girls were terrified to learn that the rope was their only means of reaching their father again. But with the guidance and encouragement of Conduk they climbed to the top of the rope, where they were delighted to find their father waiting for them.

Now, the daughters are the four bright stars of the Southern Cross. Nearby and caring for them as is their father; the bright star Centaurus." 14:41, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Removing the Southern Cross is not the issue here - that's probably why that bit was removed, even though it's an interesting story. Lead sentence for the article: The Australian flag debate is a low-key but persistent debate over whether the Australian flag should be changed in order to remove the Union Flag from the canton.... The flag debate is not about removing the Southern Cross, but removing the Union Flag. - 52 Pickup 15:47, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Don't mention aboriginies in your arguments against the flag and we won't mention them in our arguments for it. 07:40, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

The article clearly states that indigenous people may have objection to the Union Flag, not to the Southern Cross. In particular, the flag makes no mention of indigenous Australians, many of whom regard the Union Flag as a reminder of colonial oppression and dispossession. Please stick to the point. - 52 Pickup 08:18, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Noone here should be using any argument for or against the flag - we are simply reporting on the debate. At any rate, the argument you give about the Aboriginal connections with the Southern Cross, apart from being very lame and possibly more likely to offend Aboriginal people than the UJ is, is at most a very poor rebuttal of an argument for changing the flag. That is not the same thing as an argument for keeping it. JPD (talk) 14:01, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Well the Southern Cross stars in at least 5 aboriginal legends that I know of. Pity a lot of modern, urban aboriginies (and that's 75% of them) aren't more familiar with these tales. 04:44, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Wow! 5 Aboriginal legends! It is probably a pity that many modern Indigenous Australians aren't more familiar with their ancestors' culture, but it is pretty stupid to expect someone to know one of your five legends just because they are Aboriginal. What if they come from one of the more than 350 groups apart from the five that your legends come from? But apart from that, I still don't understand how being "known to ancient aboriginies (sic)" (of course it was known!) adds significance to the southern cross as a symbol for a flag. Generally symbols on flags are chosen for something more than simply "being known" and appearing in a legend. There is nothing in what you have written that gives the southern cross any more signficance than many other constellations. ANFA's use of these legends may be a way of relating the flag to Aboriginal history and encouraging indigenous people to identify it, but as an "argument" it is simply lame, especially when combined with your mispelling of "Aborigines". JPD (talk) 13:05, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Well mate, flags have no meaning in ancient aboriginal culture anyway. Even cloth was unknown to them.

Neville Bonner, the first aboriginal to serve in federal parliament, was a big fan of the Australian flag. He said "long may it fly unchanged". 12:32, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

I think you have missed the point that this is not the place for discussing the flag, it is the place for discussing what belongs in the page. I don't see what your statement has to do with anything I have said. JPD (talk) 11:35, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

The Australian flag and the Royal Australian Navy

Somebody keeps taking this out, this is a reference from the claim the Royal Australian Navy has used the blue Australian flag since 1911:

"On 5 October 1911, the existence of the new Australian Navy was formally advised when the Naval Board issued an historic order promulgating the designation 'Royal Australian Navy' for the permanent naval forces of the Commonwealth and for the ships of the Navy to be designated 'His Majesty's Australian Ships'.

The order also directed that all ships and vessels of the R.A.N. were to fly at the stern the White Ensign as a symbol of the authority of the Crown and at the jack staff, the flag of Australia."

George Odgers, "The Royal Australian Navy - An Illustrated History", pp. 41 14:41, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I think it was removed as part of a mass reversion of all your edits, most of which were not helpful. At any rate, the article definitely does not need such a detailed reference for the fact that the blue flag was used. The text of the reference definitely does not need to be included. JPD (talk) 16:02, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

New image

I have inserted an image into the arguments for keeping the flag.

Opponents of the flag have two images in their section, I beleive supporters are entitled to at least one.

Steakknife 14:34, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

The image seems reasonably appropriate, but I must point out that neither supporters nor opponents are entitled to any images. Images should be added in the way that best illustrates the debate. JPD (talk) 14:49, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

This needed to be said

This is said by supporters of the flag and I have included it in the article:

Supporters of the flag counter assertions that it is not representative of Australian Aborignies and that the Union Flag stands for oppression. The Southern Cross was known to ancient aboriginies and features in a number of their traditional legends. [3] They point out that the Union Flag means different things to different people and that for better for worse or indifferent European colonisation of Australia happened and in less than 200 years there was a modern Western nation established because of that very fact. [4] 14:09, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Yep. Good point, except for the bit about the Southern Cross - the debate is not really concerned about removing that. I'm working on a separate section to clarify this. - 52 Pickup 15:10, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
You find me one notable indigenous person who states that they believe that the Australian flag represents them - particularly the southern cross - and I'll agree to include something in the article. Not quite sure, except as an indulgence of racial prejudice, what establishing "modern western nation in less than 200 years" has to do with national flag change. PS, I'd be a lot happier if some of the diehard ANFA-ites would get log-ins, and actively participate in Wikipedia, rather than just sniping at this one article. Slac speak up! 05:26, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
They seem to be AFS people, not ANFA-ites. JPD (talk) 11:52, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

What's the AFS? (talk) 06:33, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Southern Cross

Ain't Ausflag trying to adance the argument Australia needs a new flag with an aboriginal element?

Have a look at the Australian National Flag Association's website:

Ain't these people trying to advance the argument that the Southern Cross device does have something to do with Australian aborignies?

Actually, some people argue that this ethnic minority within the Australian state does not need special representation on a new flag at all. 15:19, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

It is, to say the least, patronising, to insist that a flag represents indigenous Australians without having consulted them or cited their view. Their viewpoints are the only ones worth consulting on the flag issue. And the only views of prominent indigenous Australians that I've encountered state that they believe the flag does not represent them. Slac speak up! 05:27, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

[battle ranting removed]

Once again, you are confusing counterarguments with arguments for the flag. At any rate, I don't see Ausflag saying the flag needs a particularly Aboriginal element. JPD (talk) 11:59, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Don't returned servicemen get a say?

Steakknife 05:49, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Don't be stupid. Do servicement get a say about the flag? Sure. Do servicemen get a say on whether the flag is representative of indigenous people? Not unless they are indigenous. Does an indigenous person (such as Bonner) supporting the flag because of it's history justify references to the southern cross in myths? Not at all. Let's use some common sense. JPD (talk) 09:40, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Commonwealth star

Maybe we should have a section for the Commonwealth star.

I've heard some republicans who support a unitary state say it should not carry over to a new flag.

Steakknife 08:05, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Haven't you been around long enough to know that "I've heard some..." are some of the worst ways to start a sentence on Wikipedia. If you have reliable sources for whatever you want to include, then go ahead, be bold, and we'll see where it goes. JPD (talk) 20:13, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

The images

I'll take legal action if the two images in the Keeping the flag section are removed dogs. You big bow wow dogs! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:28, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Current vs existing

Saying "the current Australian flag" is implying it is only here for the moment. Is not "existing" a more neutral term?

Steakknife (talk) 14:34, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

No. Slac speak up! 03:10, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Christianity v Islam

The president of the Western Australian chapter of the Australian National Flag Association told me some members of the community have put it to him that the three Christian crosses of the Union Jack offend Muslim Australians.

I inserted this argument into the appropriate section of the article but some filthy rotten no good animal took it out.

I hate you I do hate you.

Steakknife (talk) 11:39, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

That's right let's get a bit of Christianity vs Islam into the mix.

That'll galvanise a significant section of Anglo Australia.

You might want to find a reliable source for the idea that this is a common argument for changing the flag. A personal conversation is not a reliable source for anything and we need a bit more than "some people put it to him that it offends". This page shouldn't be galvanising anyone in any direction, simply reporting the debate. JPD (talk) 13:30, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

It might not be one of the more common arguments but it is a view that has been advanced. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Steakknife (talkcontribs) 15:34, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

By who? Where? Show us the reliable sources and then we can talk. If we want to throw up anecdotes, my friend's brother's friend's uncle's sister-in-law's friend's mother's friend's niece's stepson told me that supporters of the current flag argue it should be kept because it highlights the good old days before all these Indigenous Australians (isn't the word they use) and non-white immigrants (again not the word they used) came along. In case it wasn't obvious I made this entire thing up but it highlights why we can't use personal unsourced anecdotes Nil Einne (talk) 15:46, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

It was me who deleted it, because not only was it uncited, it didn't make any sense. The union flag doesn't intentionally contain Christian crosses, it is simply pure coincidence, and to suggest it offends ethnic minorities is politically correct nonsense. - Tom —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:50, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

To be fair, it doesn't matter whether it is a valid argument so much as whether it is actually used. The article is reporting the debate, not arguing either side. However, since it is uncited and not on of the common arguments, there was no problem with removing it. JPD (talk) 19:58, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
The union flag is made up of the flags of England, Scotland and Ireland. It isn't related to Christian crosses. However they have forgotten to add Wales which should be included.--Mutley (talk) 10:06, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Red Ensign

The caption says "The Australian Red Ensign, sometimes used as the national flag up until 1953". I cant work that out. The Australian Flag Society would tell you it was never used on land. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Used as the national flag is questionable, given the status of the Union Jack, but never used on land??? Surely the AFS are not that stupid? JPD (talk) 21:50, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Horrible gap

Anybody else see a horrible gap about half way down the page? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Matty2002 (talkcontribs) 20:58, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Anyone like this? [[1]] Matty2002 (talk) 21:29, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Unsubstantiated claim scheduled for destruction

"The Southern Cross was also used the first time that any part of the Australian continent was claimed as a Republic."

Lies, lies, lies. (talk) 09:09, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

...uniquely and distinctively represents Australia?

I find it strange that this (the section heading) is the very first argument attributed to supporters of the current flag. Given the flag's extreme similarity to the NZ flag, it would be a very strange thing to say. It clearly does not "uniquely and distinctively represent Australia". In fact, the single reference at the end of the section mentions that very point, thereby contradicting the claim the paragraph makes. This is not a criticism of the current flag in any way at all. It's a criticism of the article for saying that supporters of the current flag would use words like that to defend the flag. The claim should not be there without a reference to support it (rather than contradict it). HiLo48 (talk) 04:52, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

The Southern Cross

The Southern Cross is not uniquely Australian. It is equally relevant astronomically to every other nation in the southern hemisphere, and already is used on the flags of several. Since this article is about the debate, I have added a recent contribution to the debate from a respected source expressing this view. HiLo48 (talk) 19:06, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Yahoo Serious' flag

Australian actor Yahoo Serious proposed his own design.[2] Very appealing, IMHO. Worth mention? -- Stormwatch (talk) 20:42, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

If it's worth mentioning, it should have garnered enough attention to be covered in reliable third-party sources such as newpapers or magazines that can be cited, per WP:RS. - BilCat (talk) 21:28, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

New flag idea. Southern Cross "pure Australian"?

USER:ThisguyYEAH has just added a proposed new flag. I'm not sure I like the idea of users just randomly adding their own preferences to this article. I also have concerns with the caption, which claims "The Crux and Commonwealth Star remain as pure Australian icons." I have no concerns about the Commonwealth Star, but the article already lists several other flags from around the world which use the Southern Cross (Crux), so it's not a pure Australian icon. There's no point in adding nonsense to the article. HiLo48 (talk) 01:13, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Propose removal of this Flag Design . As lovely as it is, has this design won any competition or received any recognised third party support? If not it does not serve any encyclopedic value and should not be given weight as an alternative flag design. --Oliver Nouther (talk) 09:40, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
I've nominated the image at Commons for speedy deletion as a clear copyvio per this site, where it is copyrighted to the cretor, Brendan Jones. - BilCat (talk) 17:15, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Minor Point: Caption under the flag

Just a minor point:

The caption under the flag currently reads: The current Australian flag. 1. This might seem biased as the word "current" might imply it is likely to change. 2. In an article such as this, it should be called by its proper name (ie the Australian National Flag).

Proposal: Change the caption to:

"Australian National Flag, (1934 - Present)"

Note the date 1934 rather than 1901 as the specifications changed (ie the Commonwealth Star)

Daeld1 (talk) 03:38, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

The article is about the debate. The possibility of change is the reason this article exists. Nothing wrong with "current". HiLo48 (talk) 03:52, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

OK, fair point about the word "current". But my main point is that the caption looks sloppy and amateur. Please consider using the proper name of the flag in the caption (for example: The current Australian National Flag) Personally, I believe my first suggestion is styled better - as well you might expect that I would ;-). However, if the word "current" is desired, I believe you should still have the name of the flag in question. Daeld1 (talk) 22:02, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Royal Australian Navy and the Australian National Flag

The article says "Variations of the National flag have been used by the Royal Australian Navy since its inception in 1911".

In fact the Australian National Flag as we know it today has been used by the RAN since 1911: (talk) 23:22, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

I think the issue is that it is not the only flag used by the Navy. The Australian White Ensign article explains at least part of this. Pretty sure the Red Ensign fits into this story somewhere too. HiLo48 (talk) 01:55, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

A lot of captains flew a large blue ensign from the mainmast as a battle flag when at battlestations. (talk) 00:41, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Black & White pics pretty pointless

Those presenting arguments in favour of keeping the flag are presenting us with black and white photos from WWII. Given that one part of the debate is that the flag used in wartime may well have been the red ensign, rather than the current flag, those photos achieve nothing. How about we remove them? In suggesting this I am not taking a stand for or against keeping the flag, just pointing out that those pics add nothing, so don't form part of any argument either way. They are simply not relevant. HiLo48 (talk) 01:22, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

You can tell blue from red in a black and white photograph, such as the one in the article of the released POWs in Japan. Quite clearly a blue field. In many cases we also have the eyewitness statements of the people who took the photograph.
I put an image of the HMAS Hobart flying the blue Australian National Flag as a battle flag but someone takes it down. (talk) 03:19, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Hmmmmm. I really don't know how to respond to someone who claims "You can tell blue from red in a black and white photograph". While I know we are supposed assume good faith here, my immediate response was that it seems a nonsensical statement. Maybe you can explain that claim. Sourced eye witness statements would obviously be great though. HiLo48 (talk) 08:02, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

In some shots you can see where the red of the crosses of St. George and St. Patrick. is in contrast the colour of the field. In some, like the photographs taken the day in 1927 when old parliament house was opened, you can't, so we don't know.

Captainjcook1770 (talk) 08:19, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

In the painting of the opening of Parliament in 1927 the flags are red ensigns and Union flags. However, some who want to keep the current flag argue that the artist used poetic licence and that they were really blue. As it's ambiguous it's probably better not to use that image as the flags being red ensigns the image would be more relevant to the change flag arguement anyway. I agree that we shouldn't use B&W images either. I also suggest two images per arguement section because adding more keeps corrupting the page as the sections are not long enough to hold more than two images neatly.Wayne (talk) 21:00, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Some who argue the flags were blue point to another painting of the opening provisional parliament house where the Australian flags are blue:

You get the impression from Elizabeth Kwan in Flag and Nation that she believes on the balance of probabilities they were blue; that's a significant concession coming from her.

I strongly disagree about the use of the black and white images. The Australian War Memorial where they came from says they are blue ensigns. They look like blue ensigns from the contrast.

Captainjcook1770 (talk) 21:58, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

The images are being presented as part of an argument to convince doubters that they should change their views, but we can't be absolutely certain of what they're telling us. Without making comment on the merits of the flag itself, I'd suggest that the B&W pics are not going to convince any doubter of anything. I'd leave them out. HiLo48 (talk) 22:14, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

But the images themselves appear on pro flag websites. You really have to get over this red ensign. It's really much ado about nothing in the end. (talk) 04:22, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

I really don't want to seen to be presenting a case for either side of the flag debate here, but it's irrelevant whether B & W pics are on the pro flag website. That website is surely preaching to the converted. Only a fool would use a B & W photo to try to convince a doubter of the colour of an old flag. As I said above to Capt'nCook, show us those quotes, that he says exist, from people and places that tell us about the colour. It would make for a much better argument.
This all seems very strange though. Maybe it's the nature of the title of the article. I guess if those who want to argue one side choose to present a silly case, it's our job here to just describe what they say, and do in the case of the B & W pics, not to tell them it's a pointless argument. HiLo48 (talk) 04:54, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

In relation to the HMAS Hobart image why the hell would it be a red ensign raised from the mainmast at action stations?

The Hobart was a warship, not part of the mercantile marine. (talk) 04:03, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

You may well be right, but the point of this discussion is not which flag it actually was, but that a black and white photo isn't going to convince the doubters. HiLo48 (talk) 11:04, 12 December 2010 (UTC)


This article is lacking we can do a lot better.

Captainjcook1770 (talk) 08:19, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

What are your specific concerns? HiLo48 (talk) 08:23, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
If no one can cite problems regarding neutrality the tag should be removed.Wayne (talk) 12:58, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
The tag was added by the above user, Captainjcook1770, on 10 December, with no Edit summary and no explanation here, so we have no idea what his concerns were. That user has only made around 20 posts on Wikipedia, all to this article and its Talk page, all between 9 and 11 December, and hasn't been heard of since. It's not a great article yet, but I don't think a lack of neutrality is the issue. Since there's nobody else supporting the tag, I'll remove it now. HiLo48 (talk) 22:33, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm actually a bit concerned about the way the "arguments for" section, rather than simply outlining arguments in favour of a new flag, decides to debunk opposing arguments (such as the "fought under that flag in wars". I know that one POV must appear first; however, the pro-change argument is given needless weight by pre-addressing claims likely to be made by the opposing viewpoint.Mandurahmike (talk) 10:53, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
@Mandurahmike: The article was affected by anti-change POV pushing for years, so go ahead and fix any problems Nick-D (talk) 10:55, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

HMAS Hobart image

Why can't we leave the image HMAS_Hobart.jpg in? It's relevant to a point in dispute. (talk) 03:19, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Because it is barely relevant, crowded the text and corrupted the edit functions. Two pics per arguement should be plenty.Wayne (talk) 20:27, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

It is relevant if you deny saliors never fought under the existing Australian National Flag.

Why does the other side have 3 images? (talk) 04:25, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

This isn't the place to debate the issues, but if you misrepresent what others are saying it will never help to get your point of view across. HiLo48 (talk) 04:47, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Australian Flag Society

The article says there are 2 lobby groups involved in the debate but what about this organisation?: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gloriousrevolution (talkcontribs) 09:01, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

The Eureka Flag may not contain the Southern Cross

Of all the flags that include the Southern Cross (the Crux constellation), the Eureka flag is the odd one out - a Black Sheep. There are two asterisms in the Southern sky which are commonly mistaken for the Southern Cross: they are known as the False Cross and the Diamond Cross. The true Southern Cross has a distinctive kite shape. The Stars on the Eureka Flag make a diamond shape. By the look of the design, the Eureka Flag may have been based on the False Cross asterism (or the Diamond Cross asterism) rather than the Southern Cross proper. The Eureka Flag is probably not a suitable example for the section on the Southern Cross - there are many other examples of flags with the true Southern Cross in the design. SilverWattle (talk) 12:24, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Ask any Aussie to name a flag with the Southern Cross in it and most will say the Eureka flag. A smaller number will say the National Flag. Ask them to name another and those two would generally be the only ones mentioned with perhaps a few mentions of New Zealand. I doubt anyone would even think of any of the State flags. The Eureka flag is widely recognised and thus suitable. Wayne (talk) 15:05, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

It's worth pointing out that when Australians wish to fly a symbol of nationality the overwhelming majoity will use the Australian National Flag. Private flying of the Eureka flag is almost nothing. It's of historical interest only.

When young people get the "Southern Cross" tattooed on their bodies it won't be five stars arrayed on a cross.

Gloriousrevolution (talk) 08:45, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Arguments against changing the flag

As you can see from the following link this section needs expansion: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gloriousrevolution (talkcontribs) 02:22, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

What are your proposed changes? HiLo48 (talk) 02:47, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

To being with, we can begin with the beginning:

"In response to the increasing publicity surrounding proposed new flag designs, supporters of the current Australian flag formed the Australian National Flag Association to resist attempts to change the flag.

Supporters of the existing national flag make the following arguments:"

Do we really need the words current and existing in such short a space?

How about:

"In response to the increasing publicity surrounding proposed new flag designs, supporters of the Australian National Flag formed the Australian National Flag Association to resist attempts to change the flag.

Supporters of the existing flag make the following arguments:"

And what of these two arguments?

1. The Union Flag is seen by the more conservative younger generations to stand for Australia's historical origins, its membership of the Commonwealth of Nations, as well as the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy and aboriginal integration since 1788.[14]

2. Although flag design protocol implies that Australia is subordinate to Britain, this is a view not held by Australians who see the Union Flag as "a reminder of that era of our history when six colonies were founded, grew to adulthood and were welded together to form the Commonwealth."[15] The flag of Hawaii has a Union Flag in the canton even though Hawaii is now a state within the United States of America.

Wouldn't it be feasible to meld them into one?

In Elizabeth Kwan's "Flag and Nation" former Federal Education Minister is quoted as saying the flag is:

"not a noticeboard to which we attach the latest fad sweeping the country."

On Australian National Flag Day 2001, Professor Geoffrey Blainey said:

"Contrary to the critics, the flag of a modern nation is never meant to be an up-to-date information sheet. Otherwise we would often be redesigning it. We would have needed a new flag in 1915 - after Gallipoli - and a new flag in 1942, to commemorate the American alliance. We would have needed a new flag in 1967 to commemorate the Aboriginal referendum, and a new flag in the 1990s. [1]

So there ought to be something about that.

And there has also been arguments advanced about the "artificial nature" of the "aboriginal separatist agenda" being "foisted on the Australian people" by Ausflag et al:

We might also want to include some mention of that.

Gloriousrevolution (talk) 03:08, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I applaud you finally coming to talk but you had already added most of those edits a week ago and had them rejected then. The edit you added to include the "artificial nature" of the "aboriginal separatist agenda" bordered on racism so is unsuitable. If we added every minor detail that supports keeping the flag we would also need to expand detail for rejection and the article would be several pages long. Wayne (talk) 10:41, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

We can now proceed to the dispute resolution process. I encountered this same problem when I wanted to include the figures for the aboriginal exogamy rate in the article on indigenous Australians. I was accused of acting in bad faith. It was a long battle. But the numbers are there now.

Racism? No mate, it's not just the Bennelong Society, the mainstream media is on to it:

Gloriousrevolution (talk) 11:50, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Could you clarify? The figures for the aboriginal exogamy rate have been in the article on indigenous Australians for years and I updated it myself in December. See here. Also I cant find anything by you on the Talk page.
This was your edit in the section "Arguments in favour of keeping the flag"

"there is no national non-funded aboriginal voice, which points to there being no such thing as a collective aboriginal identity and suggests the artificial nature of the separatist agenda being foisted on the Australian people. All that remains for radical Aboriginal rights activists to do is to reconcile themselves with the fact their future lies not in statements of separateness but as an ethnic minority with equal citizenship subject to one law in a united Australian Federation."

This may be ok in an editorial but it smacks of racism in an encyclopedic article as it is irrelevant here.Wayne (talk) 13:26, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

It is still an argument that has been advanced, and actually the figures that it is based on are all from the census; if it's seen as a racism by some then its seen as racism by some. Some people would tell you the argument that the national flag needs an aboriginal device is itself racist. There is evidence the aborginal separatist agenda is artificial; ATSIC and separate elected representation is gone now (80% of eligibles never voted). So I've asked for a third opinion to start with.

I think I had a different handle then when we were debating the indigenous Australians page. And it was years ago now.

Gloriousrevolution (talk) 04:36, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

The lead needs to be broadened

We are told "The Australian flag debate is a debate over whether the Australian flag should be changed in order to remove the Union Flag..." But it's much broader than that. A lot of the debate is about choosing a completely new design, perhaps one that uses the official national colours of green and gold, and/or one that more accurately represents Australia today. Would anyone object to changing the wording to something like what I've just written above? HiLo48 (talk) 19:07, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

We could write something in the lead about about interest in flag change being generally weak (this conclusion is supported by the contrasting experience of supporters of the exising flag and new flag activists in calling for public displays of their designs).

Gloriousrevolution (talk) 05:21, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

The end needs to be broadened

And actually the end needs to be broadened too. ALP figures have been making pro-flag statements.

It's not the best article we can produce.

Gloriousrevolution (talk) 04:36, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Rather than trying to make points on one side of the debate here, and just criticising, can you please try to do what the Discussion page is actually for - suggest specific improvements to the article, with relevant sources? HiLo48 (talk) 10:27, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

What about this for inclusion?

"From my point of view, I think our flag, which has the support of so many Australians, is worthy of ... being the ongoing flag of Australia."

Gloriousrevolution (talk) 06:19, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Many people in the country have opinions on the matter. You would need to explain here why that particular one is more significant than others. And I'm not sure where it fits in with the subheading here of "The end needs to be broadened". HiLo48 (talk) 06:45, 28 March 2011 (UTC)


Whats with all the tags in the Arguments in favour of keeping the flag sections? As the section is long standing what are the specific concerns that were not obvious before? Wayne (talk) 15:44, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

The tags were added three days ago, with no explanation, by User:Gloriousrevolution, a new user who seems interested only in promoting Australian nationalist issues. I've tried to engage this user in sensible discussion on a number of matters, with no success. I believe the tags should be removed. HiLo48 (talk) 16:34, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

I have raised my issues with it. I think the argument that the flag is not a bulletin board where we post the latest fads sweeping the nation is notable enough to be mentioned. One of the advocacy groups involved in the debate has a fairly well referenced counter argument for the need for a new national flag with an aboriginal device.

Is it possible the first two arguments against change could be cleaned up and amalgamated?

The lead for this section is clumsily written to my way of thinking with "current Australian flag" and "existing national flag" in consecutive sentences.

Gloriousrevolution (talk) 05:26, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Fixed it for you and removed the Tags. Wayne (talk) 06:31, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Third opinion

If editors on this article are still seeking a 3rd party opinion, please state it clearly in a sentence or two. Leidseplein (talk) 19:20, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Leidseplein (talk · contribs) wants to offer a third opinion. To assist with the process, editors are requested to summarize the dispute in a short sentence below.

Viewpoint by Gloriousrevolution

The outstanding issues I have raised are twofold. I think the argument that the flag is not a bulletin board where we post the latest fads sweeping the nation is notable enough to be mentioned. In Elizabeth Kwan's "Flag and Nation" former Federal Education Minister is quoted as saying the flag is: "not a noticeboard to which we attach the latest fad sweeping the country." On Australian National Flag Day 2001, Professor Geoffrey Blainey said: "Contrary to the critics, the flag of a modern nation is never meant to be an up-to-date information sheet. Otherwise we would often be redesigning it. We would have needed a new flag in 1915 - after Gallipoli - and a new flag in 1942, to commemorate the American alliance. We would have needed a new flag in 1967 to commemorate the Aboriginal referendum, and a new flag in the 1990s."

I won't insist on it, but one of the advocacy groups involved in the debate has a fairly well referenced counter argument for the need for a new national flag with an aboriginal device we might consider summarising in a sentence or two; we can hive off the mention of "aboriginal integration since 1788" in argument one to new argument of its own. Basically when Australia had separate elected representation of aboriginal people 80% of eligible voters never turned out. Couple that with the fact that there is no national non-funded aboriginal voice and the separatist movement begins to look artificial. 69% of unions involving an aborigine involved a non-aborigine in 2001, up from 46% in 1986, and there's only 30,000 full bloods left.

Is that behavior consistent with aboriginal people being unhappy about the changes that have occurred since 1788?

Comment: I still dont understand the "fad" aspect. If the flag was changed to represent our change of status from a colony to an independent nation why would it need to be changed again? I dont think anyone is asking for flag updates and Blainey appears to be using a straw man argument. Regardless of the rate of exogamy, 80% of the children of mixed families self identify as Aboriginal. Having dealings with the indigenous community I can tell you that they do find the Union Jack a symbol of the invasion and oppression of their culture however, they do not want their flag incorporated in any new one. Voters not turning out is irrelevant. Municipal elections in the U.S. (which would be similar to the indigenous elections) generally have a turnout of 10 - 25% of eligible voters (for my state, which is one of only three in Australia to have voluntary mayoral voting it's 17 - 34%) which is what happens when voting is not compulsory. Wayne (talk) 08:10, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Even if 80% do that doesn't mean the separatist agenda is an authentic expression for all the reasons the Bennelong Society have outlined. At the 2006 census, 31% of aborigines lived in major cities and another 45% in or close to rural towns, a major increase compared with 46% living in urban areas in 1971, with the trend towards intermix set to continue. Modern urban aborigines (and that's 75% of them who self identify as "indigenous") don't want to live separately and be separate and have separate representation be it in the form of ATSIC or a device on the national flag. Gloriousrevolution (talk) 08:17, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Indigenous people generally do not want to "live separately" but they do want to maintain their culture. ATSIC is a politicised organisation not supported by all indigenous people anyway. There is no "separatist agenda" and the section already in the article should be sufficient. Wayne (talk) 08:45, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

"In particular, the flag makes no mention of indigenous Australians..."

In response to that I've heard people ask why should it and point out:

(a) no other national flag has an aboriginal device (b) in light of their dysgenic traits and the intermarriage rate and the fact there are only 30,000 full bloods left, an aboriginal device would likely become a defunct reference in future generations (c) the whole separatist agenda itself is bankrupt for reasons including that the common aboriginal people themselves are not falling in behind it

We could truncate that down into a sentence or two.

Gloriousrevolution (talk) 09:49, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Viewpoint by Wayne

I don’t understand what you mean by a board for latest fads. Why do we need a more detailed argument for including an aboriginal device? This has minimal support and it would be WP:UNDUE to expand on the current mention too much. I've cleaned up and amalgamated the first two arguments. I've deleted "Australian National" so that the sentence now conforms to the style of the arguments for changing section so these two points have been addressed.

Viewpoint by (name here)
Third opinion by Leidseplein

  • Comment: I am concerned that User:Gloriousrevolution is achieving his goal of turning this into a forum where he can push his extremist views. We should not be feeding the troll. HiLo48 (talk) 09:11, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

This is my response to that:

And this:

Gloriousrevolution (talk) 09:55, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

My response? That's totally irrelevant. It's not constructive discussion that will lead to this being a better article. Please play by Wikipedia rules and policies, or take your views elsewhere. HiLo48 (talk) 10:20, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Please note that I've just blocked Gloriousrevolution (talk · contribs) for an indefinite period. Nick-D (talk) 10:54, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

HiLo48 reversion

HiLo48 has reverted several edits claiming "blatant POV." I believe each should be discussed to find what the specific objection is.

  • 1. This edit grouped two seperate alternative flag sections together. No text was added or deleted and the look of the page was greatly improved.
  • 2. This edit is reliably sourced (2006 census) and is only a clarification of what supporters mean when they use the multicultural argument. I'm not fussed if this edit is in the article or not but can't see how it could be POV.
  • 3. This edit is interesting. The original text states: "The Union Flag is seen by the more conservative younger generations to stand for Australia's historical origins...and aboriginal integration since 1788." I couldn't understand how they could make this claim so checked the reference provided. The source states

    Based on current trends, it is more likely than not that the dysgenic traits carried by Aboriginal people and nature will decide the matter and remove this argument for change [that Aborigines see the Union Jack as a symbol of oppression] in the fullness of time.

    What the Flag Society is arguing is that Aboriginal opposition to the Union Jack will dissappear as Aborigines are integrated into "white" society through marrying white people. Either mention of Aboriginal integration is removed entirely or a similar edit to my mine must replace it.
  • 4. This last edit is the addition of the most recent argument put forward by the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy movement. I fail to see why it is not relevant for a section listing arguments for keeping the flag. Wayne (talk) 14:18, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

WHERE THIS ARTICLE IS HEADING — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:03, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
There's no one section of the Australian community that won't use the national flag en masse - aboriginals and all.
In fact, there's mounting evidence no one much at all objects to the exisiting flag anymore.
I found this:
The annual AustraliaSCAN (which surveys 2000 Australians) has found that support for keeping the Australian flag has risen from 57per cent in 2001 to 65per cent in 2011. Support for changing the flag dropped from 19per cent in 2001 to 13per cent in 2011. We love the flag ... despite the fact that it looks exactly like New Zealand and is a derivative of Great Britain, Randell says.***
Let's work out a way to include it in the article. There's a trend there consistent with the other polls. Also, 13% is not a significant minority.
Actually a figure like that, calling it a "debate" is almost an insult to the flag Australia adopted around Federation.
You'd have to think that these findings will be reflected in changes to the article at some stage.
For instance, it is really touchy to say it is the settled will of the Australian people that the existing flag remains? The flag "debate" in Australia is nothing like the Northern Ireland flags issue for example. Even Malcolm Turnbull is a member of the Flag Association now.
Let's talk about it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:59, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
It's not our job here to discuss whether Australians like the flag or not, nor are we interested in your opinion on the flag. The edit I reverted immediately followed a very clear statement about a Newspoll (linked just like that), including the precise wording of the question. The addition was from an opinion piece by a clearly biased writer. It did not include the wording of the question. While it may be quite reliable, I have never heard of "AustraliaSCAN", and the reference did not explain what it was. Overall, the addition was not up to the standard already set in the article. If a better link to the survey can be found, one telling us the actual question(s) asked, and what "AustraliaSCAN" is, it would alleviate much of my concern. HiLo48 (talk) 02:20, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

I've heard of the company though, Quantum. The writer's bias is irrevant. A sample of 2,000 is significant. There is a clear trend. The importance of it is less than 15% is almost nothing. There would probably be other nations out there where support for a review of the national flag design would be in that range where it's not a political issue.

This is a very low quality article that needs lots of work - actually it's pathetic. For example, the first serious new flag design was floated in 1956. The Australiasian Post held the first new flag design contest in the 70s. Hawke's cabinet was debating it in the early to mid 80s which was the closest Australia has came to a new flag at a time when his party was committed to a new flag in their platform. I know this and I've only studied this subject for a few years.

What's needed here is an expert on the subject which we currently don't have. (talk) 07:48, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Opinion articles are not considered reliable sources for anything other than their author's opinion, so a better reference is needed to include that poll result in the article. Nick-D (talk) 07:56, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

2011 AustraliaSCAN survey

Apparently Roy Morgan's flag polls are based on 640 responses.

The latest AustraliaSCAN survey which shows support for a new Australian flag is 13% was a sample of 2,000 people.

The updated data is significant: the Ausflag campaign has collapsed under 11 years of conservative rule on those figures. (talk) 09:01, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Please provide a source which isn't an opinion article. A national survey with a sample size of only 640 is a bit unreliable BTW (you need at least about 1000 responses to produce reliable data at the national level, though Morgan does often publish the results of surveys with even smaller samples than 640 for some odd reason). Nick-D (talk) 09:04, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
And to be mentioned in the same section as that Newspoll, just as we do for it, we need a link to the survey, plus details of the question(s) asked, who was asked, the context (heard of push polling?), and detailed results. HiLo48 (talk) 09:09, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

It's collapsed like Lord Wellington's telescope after he said "the whole line will advance" at the Battle of Waterloo. (talk) 11:55, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Indigenous Australians

There's an answer to Indiegnous objections to the existing flag. We might need to find conensus on this page first. Here's what I propose:

  • Although flag design protocol implies that Australia is subordinate to Britain, this view of the flag's meaning is not held by many Australians. [14] Less than 200 years after white settlement to Australia began a modern, western nation had been founded based on British political and social institutions, as opposed to colonies by conquest such as India with their own pre-existing host cultures. [15]

Addition: The existing flag does not exclude the large swathe of Indigenous Australians who have integrated into mainstream society and are bicultural with European ancestry.


♦ Bob Birrell and John Hirst, Aboriginal Couples at the 2001 Census, People and Place (2002) <> as at 26 January 2011 ♦ Daily Telegraph, More Aborigines enter mixed marriages, 6 April 2009 <> as at 26 January 2011 ♦ Gary Johns, Waking up to the Dreamtime: The Illusion of Aboriginal Self-Determination (2007) <> as at 26 January 2011 ♦ Peter Howson, Pointing the Bone: Reflections on the Passing of ATSIC (2004) <> as at 26 January 2011 ♦ W. Sanders, J. Taylor and K. Ross, Participation and representation in ATSIC elections: a ten-year perspective (2002) <> as at 26 January 2011

Otherwise the article is a hum dinger compared to what it was. (talk) 06:31, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

It's really the artificial nature of the aboriginal separatist agenda and the great extent of integration and intermarriage that's the issue.

If modern aboriginals are unhappy Europeans arrived why do they mate with them in such numbers? (talk) 08:07, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

I thought that's where you were coming from. That is a very bigoted, ignorant, POV, forum style comment. I would normally delete such content on sight, but you need to understand that your opinion of what is happening with Aboriginal people is irrelevant, as is mine. All that matters is what the sources say. And you have not provided a source that says what your addition says, or anything like it. It needs to be a source talking about the flag debate, not what Aboriginal people are (possibly) doing. HiLo48 (talk) 08:17, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree completely with HiLo's comments. Nick-D (talk) 09:00, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree. FYI, some 80% of "integrated" Aborigines with European ancestry self identify with their Indigenous culture so no one can assume that integration negates their belief that Australia was invaded. Wayne (talk) 15:35, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Inevitably it has to be leading to some dillution of that sentiment with each passing generation, with the trend towards intermix set to take the integration project through to its conclusion when the remote settlements empty out. That's what they've said.

"I hear so many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people around this nation say to people 'share our country'. I think many of us have moved on significantly."

- Ken Wyatt MP (talk) 12:57, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

You need better sourcing than that. Whites commenting on what they believe Indigenous people think can not be treated as reliable for what they actually think. You need a reliable survey of Indigenous views. You can make the same argument that white Australian intermarriage with migrants leads to some dilution of sentiment for the Union Jack with each passing generation. It's rhetoric. Wayne (talk) 12:27, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

The pro-flag people say the symbolism of the existing flag does not exclude decendants of the original inhabitants. I think Ken Wyatt will do for one of the sources won't he? Especially as he claims to be aboriginal despite appearances. (talk) 23:10, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

No, that would be participating in the debate, rather than describing it. What you need is a source that says that "The pro-flag people say the symbolism of the existing flag does not exclude decendants of the original inhabitants", or something similar. HiLo48 (talk) 23:19, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Ken Wyatt is giving his own personal opinion and even says many hold the opposing view, most if you include those who have not voiced an opinion. As a group, Indigenous people, which includes decendants of the original inhabitants, object to the Union Jack in a national symbol as the flag of an invader. Wayne (talk) 06:22, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
The Perthnow article is about acceptance of Australia day not the flag and the other ref you added does not mention the flag at all but is merely a statement that the Southern Cross is part of Aboriginal culture. The Good man book is borderline racist in it's claim and is only one persons view. Per HiLo48, you need a source which supports that the view is widespread among supporters of the flag. Wayne (talk) 15:45, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Eureka Flag

For balance don't we need one more pro-flag image? Can't we replace the Eureka Flag with an image of the front cover of the Review of Reviews when the winning design to the 1901 Federal Flag Design Competition was announced?

There's a link to the Eureka Flag in the change the flag seciton. Thats enough isn't it?

You don't see that many Eureka Flags around Australia. The anniversary of the "Battle of the Eureka Stockade" on 3 December just came and went again without leaving a blip on the radar in 2011. (talk) 08:39, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

I would suggest that you just stop now in your blatant attempts to swing this article towards your obviously very strong POV. It's time to just step back. HiLo48 (talk) 09:44, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

The latest AustraliaSCAN survey finds 13% support for a new flag in principle. And the Eureka Flag has an unsavoury rap in mainstream Australia.

The Eureka Flag movement is very small scale. Where's the Boxing Kanagroo there'd be more people for that? (talk) 11:01, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

You don't seem to understand what Wikipedia, and this article in particular, is. This is a place where we DESCRIBE the debate. You seem to want to participate in it. To do that you need to find a forum about the flag, not this encyclopaedia. HiLo48 (talk) 17:49, 6 December 2011 (UTC)


This is how I think the article should read:

The symbolism of the existing flag does not exclude Indigenous Australians, [2] a large swathe of whom are now bicultural with a European ancestry. [3]

I don't see the problem with it myself.

David Byers1770 (talk) 07:22, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

There is nothing in the sources that says anything like "The symbolism of the existing flag does not exclude Indigenous Australians", and the bit about biculturalism is irrelevant. That is evidence that you simply don't understand Aboriginal culture, and rather, are telling them how they SHOULD feel. That's paternalism at its worst, and very close to racism. HiLo48 (talk) 07:36, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Effectively the pro-flag brigade are saying the symbolism doesn't totally exclude aborigines aren't they? I don't know how anyone could deny it. In particular, it has been pointed out that pre-historic aborigines weaved the Southern Cross into at least 5 legends that I know of, including the one on the ANFA website which one of the links leads to. Ken Wyatt also said this in his interview, but I'm not proposing to include the link to that story now. Even though in that letter to the editor which has been cited the writer points out the fact 3/4 of aborigines live just like anyone else does, let's now to save argument also leave out the word biculturalism.

Rewording it here's what we are left with:

The symbolism of the existing flag does not exclude Indigenous Australians, [4] a large swathe of whom now have a European ancestry. [5]

Now have a look at it closely and follow all the links.

What possible objections would there be to that as it stands?

David Byers1770 (talk) 08:01, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

It's made even clearer here on the ANFA website:
"Are there any Aboriginal connections to the Australian flag?
Aborigines are first and foremost Australian citizens and our national flag symbolises universal justice and freedom for all our people. It is also worth noting that the Southern Cross, which features prominently on the national flag, was known to ancient aborigines and is mentioned in a number of their timeless legends including the story of Mululu and his four daughters."
David Byers1770 (talk) 08:07, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Here's another source we can discuss:

"In point of fact there is one symbol in the Flag which closely relates to Aborigines and their legends. That is the Southern Cross, a legend that doesn't appear to be well known to modern, urban Aborigines. It first appeared in numerous publications, such as The First Sunrise by Roberts and Mountford (1971). The introduction to the book by Charles P. Mountford is a must for those who would understand the place of the heavenly bodies in Aboriginal mythology."

Dr Goodman then relates the story of Mululu and his four daughters. He goes on to say "What a fascinating legend linking Aborigines to the present Australian National Flag."

Source: Goodman. R.D. (1998). Don't Change Our Flag: An exposure of false and misleading arguments. Boolarong Press (with Australian National Flag Association of Queensland). Brisbane. Pages 25 - 26. — Preceding unsigned comment added by David Byers1770 (talkcontribs) 08:16, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

I really don't believe we should be conducting the debate here. You clearly do. But... To all the Aboriginal people I know (and yes, some of them live in houses in the suburbs and towns!) the mere presence of the Union Jack means that the symbolism of the existing flag DOES exclude Indigenous Australians. Please just stop pushing your racist, anti-Aboriginal POV onto this article. HiLo48 (talk) 10:48, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

The Union Jack is only 1/4 of the flag's symbolism. It's the fly-half Rupert Goodman, Ken Wyatt and ANFA are talking about.

Anyway. I've tendered several verifiable references. It's clear to me we are not gong to be able to reconcile our differences. I've asked for a third opinion.

David Byers1770 (talk) 12:21, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

That the Southern Cross is part of Aboriginal cvulture is irrelevant to the flag debate. You need a source which supports the view that the symbolism of the existing flag in it's entirety does not exclude Indigenous Australians and that this view is widespread among supporters of the flag. The flag debate, regardless of any other design suggestions, is basically about the Union Jack alone. Other design elements are purely sybolic, cosmetic and not part of the core debate. Wayne (talk) 12:51, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm responding to the mediation request. After reviewing the article and the source, I think that it's good for inclusion. While it's true that the source doesn't explicitly say that all indiginous australians feel included by the flag as it stands now, the author's intention is clearly to convince the reader that they can and should feel included. Since the footnoted statements appears as part of an article about a political debate, imho it should be understood as simply reproducing the AFNA's opinion, and not necessarily as a factual statement about how all indigineous australians actually feel. Perhaps, in order to make this more explicit, the footnoted statement should read "the AFNA has argued that the symbolism of the existing flag does not exclude indiginous australians." Hope that helps. Carinae986 (talk) 14:20, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

This is what I'm happy for the disputed sentence to look like:

The symbolism of the existing flag does not exclude Indigenous Australians, [6] [7] a large swathe of whom now have a European ancestry. [8]

HiLo48 should have a reasonable opportunity to respond.

David Byers1770 (talk) 15:10, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

I have made my points many times above. David Byers1770 is clearly pushing a pro-current flag, anti-Aboriginal POV here, rather than trying to describe the debate, the real purpose of this article. That user cannot participate in a rational discussion of this matter. He is digging up fringe sources, obviously has more time to spend on this debate (which should not be a debate anyway) than I do, and should not be allowed to continue his anti-objective activity here. HiLo48 (talk) 21:45, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
well, I'm just a guy with an opinion. Sorry I couldn't be more help. Carinae986 (talk) 22:18, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

I deny all the allegations. The references I have tendered are sound. We'll have to go to the next stage of the mediation process and get a binding outcome.

David Byers1770 (talk) 23:45, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Being well sourced is a requirement for material to be added here, but the converse is not true. Just because something is well sourced, it does not mean it should automatically be included. I wish you could recognise that this article is for describing the debate, not for conducting it. It's in doing the latter that your bigotry and lack of understanding of the real issues is put on display for all to see. That image weakens any good case you may put here for adding material to the article. HiLo48 (talk) 01:54, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Thx for the input Carinae986. The main problem is that the source, Goodman, is talking about only one part of the flag, the Southern Cross, and no one on either side of the debate has a problem with that in the flag. The argument that Indigenous acceptance of the Southern Cross alone can be assumed to extend to the entire flag is OR and an insult to Aboriginal culture. Wayne (talk) 05:42, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Actually some of do have a problem with the Southern Cross. While it has been used in many flags within Australia, it's not uniquely Australian and could validly be claimed by any country well south of the equator. But that's off-topic, and I agree with your general point. HiLo48 (talk) 05:49, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
well, I don't pretend to be really familiar with the debate. I can tell that it generates alot of passion. I saw two points about David's edit: 1 it wasn't adequately sourced, 2 it's wrong/insulting/racist etc. I looked at the source and it seems to me that the edit does reflect the argument that was being made in the source, as long as it's understood as a political opinion and not as a fact. He didn't say in the edit that it was a political opinion, but the overall context of the WP article suggests that this is how it should be understood. It's true that the source is mostly talking about the southern cross, but Goodman seems to think that this is all that's required. The disagreement, in other words, is with the source, rather than with the edit. So, for those reasons I just don't agree with the 1st point.
As far as the 2nd point, it's basically another way of saying "I disagree with David and the source." Well, the whole article is about a disagreement, so it doesn't seem fair to edit out someone's opinion just because we don't agree with it. As long as it's adequately sourced and isn't a fringe position, then it should be ok for inclusion. Like I said though, I'm just a guy with an opinion. If that doesn't help to establish a consensus, then the next thing to do is seek a binding decision from someone who'se in a position of authority. Carinae986 (talk) 13:32, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I should say thanks for your input Carinae986. This certainly is a topic filled with passion. While not Aboriginal myself (to my current knowledge) I have spent considerable time among such people and count many as my friends. I can assure that the particular Aboriginal politician quoted is in no way representative of his people. (As an elected politician he obviously represents a different group.) In fact, it's virtually impossible to say that the views of any one person can be said to represent all Aboriginal people. But, probably more importantly, I should point out that User:David Byers1770 has now been indefinitely blocked for being a sock puppet of Gloriousrevolution (talk · contribs). I suspect that puts a different perspective on things. HiLo48 (talk) 21:34, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

It certainly does. Cheers! Carinae986 (talk) 21:42, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I should have noted here that I'd blocked them. This person has been pushing their POV in this and articles on Indigenous Australians for years using several sockpuppet accounts. Nick-D (talk) 21:50, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

The Australian Flag Society was mentioned in the seminal work on the Australian flag, Dr Elizabeth Kwan's "Flag and Nation". I've read about them in newspapers. They are known to have more subscribers then Ausflag.

They seem heavily enagaged in aboriginal issues to me: (talk) 06:54, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

We can also utlise this:
It says no rights reserved. (talk) 07:55, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Both sites make claims/statements that are offensive to the Indigenous community, so we shouldn't use them for such claims. The Flag Society are basically arguing that Indigenous culture is irrelevant. Wayne (talk) 12:53, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, they are promoting extreme fringe, ignorant, insulting views of the position and status of Aboriginal people in Australia. Definitely not acceptable. I will revert future additions of that kind on sight. HiLo48 (talk) 22:22, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

You seem determined one and all that this remain a start class article. It's interesting to note that the Australian Flag Society has more subscribers then Ausflag - second biggest organisation in the debate; Dr Elizabeth Kwan mentoned them in her seminal work "Flag and Nation". There's a lot of citations from mainstream newspapers on their page Australian Flag Society. Does anyone here get journalists ring them offering them the chance to shape public opinion about the national flag?

You've got to give it to these baby boomers like HiLo. They are going right the way to their graves with their politically correct convictions. I salute them in a way. (talk) 02:10, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Oh well, with Cluebot now reverting your changes, maybe you need to check if Cluebot is a baby-boomer too. HiLo48 (talk) 03:00, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
How do we request semi-protection to give us a break from disruptive IP editing? Wayne (talk) 03:14, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I have raised the matter at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Disruptive editing at Australian flag debate. Not sure if this is the best approach, nor whether I've done it properly, but at least it will get the attention of some other editors. HiLo48 (talk) 03:46, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Im sorry, but I see a copyright tag:

The bot can't see what we see. (talk) 03:35, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

An email has been sent to wikipedia about the copyrighted material.
There is no prospect of progress here; pro tem baby boomers are the majority of wikipedia editors and administrators who frequent this page. (talk) 03:59, 17 December 2011 (UTC)


The IP editor has been removing items that are copyvios. It does appear that parts of this article are lifted from and this one, but I have no way of knowing if they copied Wikipedia as websites are oft to do.—Ryulong (竜龙) 04:14, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

To my knowledge went live in 2003.
The disputed edits seem to have been added since then. (talk) 05:22, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
That may be so. But that particular page on that website was last modified today and did not exist in 2006. So it is very likely that who ever owns the website decided to copy everything from Wikipedia recently just to start shit.—Ryulong (竜龙) 06:27, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

I think you'll find the flag society published the page at the time the site went live in 2003. The content seems substantially the same as when I first saw it but there are a few images there now I haven't seen before.

I've sent them an email. Will advise when I receive a response. It should be all or nothing: the flag society is a verifiable source or it's not.

It should be all admissable or all out: how can wikipedia abide by this cherry picking? (talk) 06:46, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

I normally rely on the Wayback Machine to get an idea of when content was first added to a site. In this case, the Union Jacks And Southern Skies site was added to the Wayback Machine in 2004, [3], which predates this article, and the material in this article matches that in the Wayback Machine. Thus that material is copyvio. However, I'm having no luck tracking down an early instance of the content from the site has been archived since 2003, but the material doesn't show up in the archive on the same URL, so it may be less than six months old or it may have been included elsewhere in the site. This doesn't mean that it isn't copyvio, so it is worth looking further. - Bilby (talk) 06:50, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I was inquiring to this matter recently on IRC. Someone notified me that was last modified on 17 December 2011 around 1 am (I'm guessing at one of the Australian local times). Because this particular part of the site is not in the wayback machine, I severely doubt that this page existed within the past 24 hours and, who only started accusing copyright violations in the past 24 hours, had something to do with it.—Ryulong (竜龙) 07:09, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

The flag society says when they post documents drafted and approved by the Executive Council online they do a screen save, print it out and post it to their secretary who files it away unopened. They say they have to be scruplous about it. (talk) 13:11, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

If you check back on what the article looked like a year ago there was no copyvio, the socks and IPs appear to have been either copy-pasting to add small amounts of text over time to read closer to the original sources or the sources have been copying the expansion of the arguements on the Wikipedia page to improve their own article. Wayne (talk) 14:32, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

I think the "Arguments in favour of keeping the flag" section's best days have already been. (talk) 17:20, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Potential sock alert

Back on 11th April IP editor was blocked for block evasion after a series of strange Edits to this article with wordy Edit summaries. Last night and tonight we've had two similar edits from (very close) and (Look at the address of the IP protagonist in the discussion just above - - also now blocked). Seems suspicious to me. HiLo48 (talk) 12:33, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Veracity of the Ottawa incident

It is claimed that when Bob Hawke visited Canada in 1985 (or 84), the New Zealand flag was flown to welcome him (and therefore the Oz flag is not distinctive enough). Does anyone have a decent reference for this. My admittedly quite limited archive search could find no mention of it in newspapers at the time of his visit in March '85. All I could find were passing claims in AusFlag material.

Also there was a report of Whitlam recounting the same story only featuring one of his predecessor (Menzies?) so it seems to smell of an urban legend. Can anyone give any details? Hawke was only in Canada for 48 hours on that trip so it shouldn't be too hard to pin down a time and place if it's true. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TheSciolist (talkcontribs) 04:05, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I've had a look through Trove for "hawke ottawa flag" in 1985 but no luck. Not all newspapers are covered in the 1980s but some, including the Canberra Times, are. -- Chuq (talk) 02:28, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

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  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Morris, Nigel. Letter. Crux Australis, 2010. Vol 23, Issue 94. Print.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Morris, Nigel. Letter. Crux Australis, 2010. Vol 23, Issue 94. Print.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Goodman, R D, 1998. Don't Change Our Flag: An Exposure of False and Misleading Arguments. 1st ed. Brisbane: Boolarong Press. Pages 25 - 26.
  8. ^ Morris, Nigel. Letter. Crux Australis, 2010. Vol 23, Issue 94. Print.