The Australian flag was chosen in 1901, when a competition was held to design our country's flag. The guidelines of this competition included that the Union Jack and Southern Cross should appear on the flag. However, I believe that in the year 2001, the Australian flag needs to be changed. During the course of this essay, I will show that the Australian flag does not represent all Australians, in particular, Aboriginal Australians and that the symbols on our flag are no longer relevant and are not unique to Australia. I will also show that the present flag is not instantly recognisable and is too similar to flags of other countries.
The current Australian flag does not represent all Australians, in particular, Aborigines. As a nation, Australia is heading towards Aboriginal reconciliation and by changing our flag to include Aboriginal elements, we would take reconciliation a major step further. By acknowledging publicly that Aborigines are a part of our nation, not only are we making it clear to Aborigines that we want to reconcile, but we are also sending out a message to other countries that we are proud to be a multi-cultural country.
Our current flag suggests that as a country, we value Great Britain more highly than our own native people. Yet when the AGB conducted a nation-wide survey it discovered that 66% of those polled supported elements of the Aboriginal flag appearing on a new Australian flag. This is another example of our current flag not representing Australians.
The Union Jack featured on the Australian flag may once have been relevant, but today holds no special significance for Australia. The Union Jack, a prominent aspect of our flag, symbolises the uniting of England, Scotland and Ireland, to form Great Britain. This was an historic event but even so this is not important to Australia. Some people believe the Union Jack is vital for our flag to symbolise our ties with Britain.