One flag we do see a lot of though is our own Aussie flag particularly at celebrations like Australia Day. But recently some people have been talking about getting rid of the flag and replacing it with something else. So why would they want to do that? Here's Sarah.
SARAH LARSEN, REPORTER: We fly it, we parade it, we wave it, we wear it. On Australia day more than any other day the Aussie flag is in.
REPORTER: But have you ever wondered where the flag came from? Or just what these lines and stars represent?
When British people colonised what's now Australia they brought their own flag with them known as the Union Jack. When Australia became a federation in 1901 it got a new flag but the Union Jack stayed. It was joined by new symbols, like the Southern Cross which is a constellation that can always be seen from Australia. And a six pointed star to represent each of the six states, with an extra point added later to represent the territories.
Since then the flag has been the main symbol of Australia. It flies over Parliament house, at official ceremonies and over official buildings. It's on ships and the uniforms of soldiers. And it's flown whenever an Aussie stands at a sporting podium. Except scenes like this at last year's Olympics had some wondering whether Australia's flag really sets us apart.
ROBERT WEBSTER, AUSFLAG CHAIRMAN: Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain finished first, second and third and the three flags went up the flag pole. I imagine people watching in China or the United States or somewhere looking and thinking hmm, there's three British flags just gone up the flag pole because you're immediately drawn to the Union Jack. And that was what really started me on my crusade to change the Australian flag.
Robert Webster is the chairman of Ausflag, an organisation which reckons the Aussie flag has an image problem. It's not just the UK and New Zealand that bear the Union Jack. It's on the flags of many countries that used to be British colonies. So to avoid the confusion, Ausflag is trying to get a new flag flown at sporting events.
But some reckon a new sporting flag isn't enough and that it's time Australia changed its official flag for good. One argument is that the current flag with its Union Jack doesn't represent Indigenous Australians. Many suffered when their land was colonised by Britain.
Now there are separate flags for Aboriginal Australia and the Torres Strait Islands but some people reckon it'd be better to have one flag that represents everyone, including Aussies with no British ancestors.
There have been plenty of attempts to design a new one. This one was launched on Australia day by an Aussie academic who tried to incorporate bits of the old flag with symbols of Aboriginal Australia and the country's many migrants. Some loved it, but others thought they could do better
While there disagreements about just what a new flag should look like some reckon we shouldn't be changing it at all. They say it's an important part of Australia's history a symbol that's meant a lot to people including the many soldiers who fought for their country.
It's an issue that always stirs up debate. So what do you think?
KID: I don't think the flag should be changed simply because of the all of the history that's happened in Australia and the flag's been part of it.
KID: I think it should be change due to we're not a part of England we've expanded we've had immigrants coming over here
REPORTER: These are the two designs that people have come up with so what do you think of them?
KIDS: They're all right. That one's better than that one.
KID: That one I think is really good for the new Australian flag because it's got the Aboriginal colours
KID: This one I think would look better as the Australian flag than the one at the moment
Show MoreSHOULD THE AUSTRALIAN FLAG BE CHANGED?
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…show more content…
Much of our population has migrated form other parts of Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Therefore our ties with Britain are less important and meaningful. If we remove the Union Jack from our flag, this does not mean that Great Britain will not assist us if we find ourselves in need of their aid. Canada changed its flag without changing its relationship with Great Britain.
A country's flag needs to be easily recognisable, which is another requirement our current flag fails to meet. A flag is used so people can instantly recognise the country it represents. Yet, when the Australian flag is flown, foreigners do not easily associate it with Australia and are often confused. This is because our flag is too similar to New Zealand's flag, as it also features the Southern Cross and the Union Jack. The only difference between the Australian flag and the New Zealand flag is Australia's federation star.
This is similar to the issue of Australia's national anthem. Our former national anthem was God Save the Queen. A national anthem also needs to be instantly recognisable and because this anthem was also used by the UK the change to another anthem was made. This was mainly because it was too confusing at international events, such as the Olympics.
Our present flag also features symbols that are not unique to Australia and do not set us apart from other countries. The Southern Cross,