Article Index

Our National Symbols

Our National Anthem, flag, coats of arms and Government and Parliament Houses are the symbols of our identity. They embody our national aspirations and unify us towards a higher common purpose.

Ask most Australians to nominate what they would define as the essence of the Australian identity and usually the answer will be 'tolerance and a fair go'.


The symbols of our national identity, such as our flag and the National Anthem, should be changed. (Many republicans, particularly politicians such as Premier Carr and former Prime Minister Keating, openly attempt(ed) to change the symbols of our nationhood to further republicanism by stealth).


We would have preferred issues surrounding the appropriateness of the symbols of our nation to have been kept separate from the debate about the Constitution and a republic.

However, republicans have made it clear that they offer a package deal of change with new symbols being part of their republican agenda. The exhibition 'Flagging the Republic', with alternative flag designs, was funded and sponsored by Malcolm Turnbull and sponsored by the Australian Republican Movement. Our Australian flag is proudly unique; it is the only national flag which represents a nation's history, constitution and geography. Our Constitution through the Federation of the States is symbolised by the 7-pointed star. The Southern Cross represents our geographical identity and the timelessness of our land. The Union Jack, to which many republicans object, is a combination of three crosses; St Patrick of Ireland, St Andrew of Scotland and St George of England. To take out this historical reference is tantamount to denying our heritage and attempting to rewrite history.

Well-known republicans, such as Premier Carr of New South Wales, continually advocate a new national anthem for Australia. No change to the symbols of our nationhood should be made without full consultation, debate and voting by the Australian people.

Some examples of republicanism by stealth include:

Mr P.J. Keating was the first Australian Prime Minister who chose not to fly the existing Australian flag on his official car;

The Governor-General was instructed by the Keating Government not to submit to the Queen any further requests from national organisations for permission to add the prefix 'Royal' to their names;

Federal parliamentary statutes have, since 1990, omitted any reference to the Sovereign;

In some Australian States, new appointments as Queen's Counsel have ceased;

The migrants' Oath of Allegiance no longer includes reference to the Queen;

New South Wales Government statutes traditionally displayed the Royal Coat of Arms and a reference to the year of the Sovereign's reign. No longer;

The title of Crown Solicitor for the Commonwealth has ceased to exist. Instead, we now have the Australian Government Solicitor;

Former Prime Minister Keating ordered the removal of all pictures of the Queen from public areas;

The symbol of the Crown has been deleted from the Australian Customs logo as any visitor to our international airports can discover;

Under the Keating government Commonwealth book shops were instructed not to sell photographs of the Queen to the public (since reversed by the Howard Government: now issued free of charge);

In mid-January 1996, the Premier of New South Wales announced plans to downgrade the Office of Governor of New South Wales. Also Government House was no longer to be the official office and residence of the Governor. Following the ACM-organised protest in Macquarie Street on 30 January 1996, certain of the proposals (principally making the governorship a part-time occupation) were abandoned. But the governor remains evicted from her home.

In October 1996, NSW Premier Carr was at it again attempting to delete the Crown from the New South Wales parliamentary crest, extending the deletion also to new uniforms for parliamentary staff (all without any consultation with the Presiding Officers or other members of the Parliament). Crowns were also deleted from the uniforms of Supreme Court staff.

Attempts at republicanism by stealth by Labor governments and local councils seem destined to continue despite there being no mandate from the Australian people for any politician to interfere with the symbols and workings of our constitutional monarchy before a successful people's referendum approving such changes. It is important to alert the general public to these developments whenever they are detected.

In summary, many republicans want a new constitution, a new flag, a new national anthem, a new Oath of Allegiance, abolition of the States, and a plethora of other changes. Wouldn't they be happier in a new country and leave Australia to those who love it the way it is!


'It is clear to all now that the republicans intend to: dismantle the Constitution; shred the Australian flag; and shed our national anthem.'
Mr D. Sutherland Former Labor Lord Mayor of Sydney) ACM/ARM forum, Killara, NSW 14 November 1996

'[Premier Carr's] suggestion to change the national anthem from Advance Australia Fair to the tale of a sheep thief, Waltzing Matilda, is bizarre. To suggest this folk song replace the anthem so proudly sling by our victorious Olympic athletes in Atlanta nonplussed most —including Prime Minister John Howard, who scoffed at the idea. ......
The Labor Government has made a practice of riding roughshod over public feeling, not thinking twice about abolishing long-held traditions such as the office of the Governor. ... ...
Mr Carr's republican leanings are well known and lie has already moved to remove references to the monarchy from State oaths of allegiance.
When the national anthem was changed from God Save the Queen almost 20 years ago, a national vote zuas taken. But this democratic process does not appear to appeal to Mr Carr, who has chosen instead to tell the people that if he wants their opinion, he will give it to them.'
Editorial "The Sunday Telegraph", Sydney 18 August 1996

'The monarchy has come under a new attack front the State government, which has deleted the coat of arms from the NSW Parliament crest.
Angry MPs are demanding the crown be returned to the top of the crest, which has been deleted from the uniforms for parliamentary staff.   ... ...
MPs claim the government, having failed in previous attempts to downgrade the monarchy's presence in NSW, is secretly imposing a republican agenda.'
John Larkin (journalist) Article: "Sunday Telegraph", Sydney 6 October 1996 pN

'Comments made by Mr Malcolm Turnbull, Chairman of the Australian Republican Movement, as published in 'The Age' (11/5) that 'the Governor-General, Mr Bill Hayden, wanted Australia to remain a constitutional monarchy because lie was propped upon cushions with slaves at his beck and call' are as scandalous as they are outrageous.
Our current Governor-General, as well as our State Governors, are assuredly among the lowest funded Heads of State in the world. Contrast this with the recent republican claims that the National Planning Authority has already commenced the design for a billion dollar 'presidential palace'! Recent publications have referred to the billions of dollars spent on the American President and his associated comforts.'
The Hon J. Ramsay (Convenor, ACM Victorian Council) During debate with Malcolm Turnbull; Law Students Society, Melbourne University
12 May 1995

'The NSW Governor, Mr Gordon Samuels, has been told to reject a State government plan to lease out parts of Government Horse or face a public outcry which would diminish his standing in the community.
The warning, delivered yesterday by the Leader of the NSW Opposition, Mr Collins [a renowned republican], came as Mr Samuels sought further talks with the Premier, Mr Carr, over the use of the 150-year-old official residence.
Mr Collins also said lie had advised Mr Samuels that a Coalition election victory in 1999 would see the Governor return to a traditional role, both living and working at Government Horse.'
David Nason (Journalist) Article: 'Governor warned on official residence' "The Australian" 23 October 1996 p47

'Australians need to understand their present system of government before deciding on whether they want a constitutional monarchy, Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair said yesterday. ... ...
`We, as present day Australians, should do what is right for our future generations.' he said. 'We are only the second generation to make judgment on how our future generations should be governed and we should be sparing no effort in getting it right. ......
`We need to make sure there is an understanding of what it is we want to change and then be in a position to judge the merits, or otherwise, of what we want to change against what we already have.
`We are not within a Mill's roar of reaching that point within the near future.'
Report on address to NO REPUBLIC Hunter-Newcastle Branch by
Rear Admiral P.R. Sinclair, (former Governor of New South Wales)
"Newcastle Herald" 8 November 1996 p6

'The timing of a change to Australia's flag has been linked for the first time to Labor's push for a republic by 2000.
Finance Minister Kim Beazley said yesterday the Government was working towards changing the flag around 2001, the centenary of Federation. ... ...
`The Prime Minister has been working towards both symbolic and real changes in the context of the centenary of Federation, so I guess all that is moving to that sort of timetable.
'I think that Prime Minister has identified that as something that requires change as you move to a republic. "
Report in the "Telegraph Mirror" (Sydney) 6 June 1994 

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