FLAG DAY: South Gladstone Rotary Club Flag Marshall Stephen Mills and South Gladstone Rotary Club president Alan Maclean.
FLAG DAY: South Gladstone Rotary Club Flag Marshall Stephen Mills and South Gladstone Rotary Club president Alan Maclean. Matt Taylor GLA030918FLAG

Flying the flag for familiar national symbol

WE DRIVE by it every day and see it flown at ceremonies but how many of us know the history and symbolism of the Australian flag.

Monday was Australian National Flag Day proclaimed in 1996 by then Governor-General Sir William Deane to recognise the first time the flag was flown in 1901.

South Gladstone Rotary Club Flag Marshall Stephen Mills encouraged people to learn about the national ensign's past and representation.

"There was a competition to design a flag for Australia and it came down to five almost identical entries and they used them to put together the Australian flag," Stephen said.

"This was the first time the use of blue ensign because prior to that it was a red ensign that is now used for the merchant navy."

The blue ensign was flown for the first time in September 1901 at the Exhibition Building in Melbourne which was where the federal government originally governed from.

The symbolism of the flag has three elements on a blue back ground, the Union Jack, the Commonwealth Star and the Southern Cross. Stephen was passionate about his role and being able to raise the three flags at Gallipoli Place on the corner of Glenlyon Street and Dawson Highway.



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