The proposed design of the Australian flag by Ausflag Limited omits the Union Jack.
The proposed design of the Australian flag by Ausflag Limited omits the Union Jack.

Time to ditch the national flag? The new culture fight

A NEW campaign will start today to change the Australian flag by ditching the Union Jack because agitators claim it's a symbol of colonisation.

With the public still torn by the heated debate over holding our national day on the date the First Fleet arrived, The Daily Telegraph can reveal the peak lobby group wanting to ditch Australia's flag will ­unveil its new design today.

It comes as Aboriginal leaders warn that left-wing reactionaries are causing an increasingly nasty divide over January 26 for Australia Day - and they fear the coming flag furore will be even worse.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale told The Daily Telegraph he supported overhauling the Australian flag.

Mr Di Natale has been at the centre of the change the date debate after he said January 26 represented the "ongoing genocide" of Aboriginals.

"Like many Australians, I believe we need a flag that more accurately represents modern Australia as a confident, mature and multicultural nation with a proud Aboriginal heritage," Mr Di Natale said.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the design of an alternative flag by Ausflag replaces the Union Jack with the seven-point Commonwealth star, symbolising Australia's federation in January 1901 when the six colonies of Australia united.

The seventh point of the star represents Australian territories. The background is a darker blue and it retains the Southern Cross stars.

Ausflag founder and executive director Harold Scruby said the issue of ditching the flag was "inextricably linked" with changing the date of Australia Day.

 

Pink paint is seen covering the head of the James Cook statue in St Kilda yesterday.
Pink paint is seen covering the head of the James Cook statue in St Kilda yesterday.

 

"We know it's not if but when we have our own flag and become a republic. So we're preparing for the flag and changing the date, it's all part of celebrating Australia not being a colony," he said.

Mr Scruby also criticised people who proudly displayed the Union Jack.

"From an Aborigine's perspective it must be pretty awful when you see all these yobbos wearing Union Jacks over their shoulders … (they're saying) 'because I'm of British descent, I'm more Australian than you'."

The animosity of the date debate has been so extreme that former Labor Party president and indigenous leader Warren Mundine has questioned his support for the movement. He warned that debate over the flag will be worse.

"If people continue with this type of stuff what you're going to get is a hardening about not changing (the date). To be honest I'm starting to feel like that," he said.

"In regards to the flag … I'm not interested in changing it, it has a lot of emotion behind it with the military people serving and dying under it.

"And I know from this debate we're having about changing the date that it will be a very nasty and very disgraceful discussion."



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1260 Pacific Eden passengers arrive in Gladstone today

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