Rahul Sharma

Australian Flag Society

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Ideology  National conservatism
Australian Flag Society
National Convenor  Nigel Morris (since 2008)
Founded  4 July 2001 [As Australian National Flag Association (ACT) Inc]
Headquarters  PO Box 743 Gunnedah, New South Wales, Australia 2380

The Australian Flag Society (AFS) was founded as an advocacy group to argue the case for a referendum and constitutional elevation for the existing flag of Australia.

Contents

The website of the AFS states the following aims and objectives:

  • Making civics education, vexillogical and other resources available to organisations and the general public and considering all requests for grants of aid and materiel.
  • Due recognition of the Australian National Flag and observance of Australian National Flag Day, 3 September.
  • Facilitating contact between supporters of the Society to discuss ways to promote the Australian National Flag and Australian patriotism in general.
  • Maintaining a general headquarters and preservation of the Society's collection.
  • Continuing to add to the body of knowledge through primary research.
  • Structure

    The AFS is currently unincorporated; it was originally constituted as the Australian Capital Territory branch of the Australian National Flag Association (ANFA). However, on 15 July 2003, affiliation with ANFA was severed, and the organisation rebranded.

    Under the AFS constitution (adopted 25 October 2008), the National Convenor may admit voting rights members and appoint from among their number officers of the Executive Council. In addition, members of the general public are able to subscribe to the AFS as supporters free of charge.

    Wounded Soldiers Gift Fund

    In conjunction with Australian National Flag Day 2012, the AFS began an annual flag day charity appeal, making sales of postcards, flag related merchandise and receiving donations towards a gift and bereavement fund for wounded members of the Australian Defence Force.

    Civics education

    Morris secured federal funding for the distribution of the "Our National Flag ... since 1901" video kit to all primary schools in Australia in 2002.

    The AFS proposed 22 August be proclaimed as "Captain Cook Day" in 2005 to commemorate the day explorer James Cook laid claim to the east coast of Australia as New South Wales on Possession Island in the name of King George III.

    National language, Holiday and Flag bill

    On 30 April 2009 the AFS released their National Language, Holiday and Flag Bill, as the way forward in response to a petition of certain citizens calling for a parliamentary committee to review the Flags Act 1953 (Cth). It proposes to amend the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (IMP) by way of modifiable provisions declaring English to be the national language, 26 January in each year to be Australia Day and the existing flag to be the Australian National Flag.

    Under the proposed legislative and constitutional refinements, it is envisaged that the Flags Act would remain on the statute books, to provide the construction sheet for the Australian National Flag which would be described in terms of its essential elements in the constitution, thereby settling the question of popular sovereignty in relation to the process for reviewing the design - in whole or in part - with a weighty body of legal opinion against the constitutionality of the current statutory rules in subsections 3(2) & (3), which provide for an instant-runoff for choosing between the existing flag and one or more alternatives, on the basis of universal suffrage. As the device occupying the lower hoist is simply referred to as a "large white Commonwealth Star", the number of points on what is a well recognised heraldic symbol in its own right could be varied by ordinary legislation, according to changes in membership of the Australian Federation, and not by a plebiscite as currently required, which would remove what has been criticised as an "anomalous and costly" impediment.

    Opposition to the recognition of other flags

    In the lead up to the sesquicentenary of the Eureka Stockade in 2004, the AFS opposed moves to have the Eureka Flag officially recognised under the Flags Act 1953 (Cth).

    In 2008 the AFS lobbied members of the Tasmanian parliament for a public inquiry to be held in response to a motion proposed by Denison Labor MHA Lisa Singh to have the Australian Aboriginal Flag stand in Parliament House, Hobart.

    Search for the "Eureka Jack"

    In 2013 the AFS announced a worldwide quest and $10,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of the Union Jack which was reportedly hoisted as a second flag at the Battle of the Eureka Stockade.

    Publications

  • Flag Breaking News is an annual news bulletin published by the Australian Flag Society.
  • References

    Australian Flag Society Wikipedia


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