50 years ago today, on the 50th anniversary of the Federation of Australia’s flag, the Australian government announced it would rename the flag “the Australian flag”.
The decision was welcomed by the flag’s supporters and opponents, who believe it has been misunderstood.
Flags and flags-a-mobs were born at the end of World War II, with Australia becoming the third country in the world to declare itself the nation of flags.
In 1947, the Commonwealth Government passed a law to establish the flag as an official emblem.
In 1957, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser commissioned an artist to produce a design for the flag.
The flag was never officially adopted by the Commonwealth, however.
The flag became a symbol of Australia during the Second World War, with the slogan “Stand up and fight” used to raise the flag over Australian troops at Bismarck in North Dakota.
Since then, the flag has become an enduring symbol of Australian pride, with flags of the Commonwealth and of the United Kingdom and Ireland also flown over Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Flag Day was celebrated on the first Saturday of December every year in the year 2000, and the flag is now retired at the request of the Australian Government.