Flags Act 1953
John Howard’s Statement
Transcript of the Prime Minister
The Hon John Howard MP
5 March 1998
Parliament House Protects the National Flag
I am pleased that the Senate today passed the Flags Amendment Bill through its remaining parliamentary stages.
The Bill amends the Flags Act 1953 to ensure that the National Flag can only be changed if the electorate approves an alternative design. The legislation provides that the existing National Flag shall always be one of the choices offered at a national vote.
This fulfils another government commitment. This ensures that the people are consulted about their National Flag which is our oldest national symbol.
There was strong support for the principle that the design of the National Flag should be changed only by a majority of voters in a national vote at the recent Constitutional Convention.
All Australians can now be assured that the design of the National Flag – their Flag – is a matter for them and not for politicians or pressure groups.