Flag Day messages from our national, state and local leaders:
From the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd):
The Australian flag is a powerful symbol of our nation, of who we are and who we aspire to be.
It is under the Australian flag that we sing our national anthem, pledge our allegiance to this country and come together as one united, harmonious and cohesive nation.
On National Flag Day, we look to our flag for inspiration as we resolve to keep working together for the benefit of the nation and all who call it home.
Our flag is part of us, we revere it and we honour all it represents.
I commend the work of the Australian National Flag Association for its tireless work in promoting our flag and offer my best wishes to all Australians on this important day.
From the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison MP
Each year on 3 September, Australians commemorate the day in 1901 when our national flag was first flown.
It is an occasion to remember the history and achievements of our people, and to celebrate the strength and spirit upon which our nation has been built.
Australians are an optimistic, passionate and ambitious people, full of aspirations for ourselves, our families, and of course, for our great nation and all its people.
In the face of great challenges, when wise choices are needed and when even greater opportunity has presented itself, Australians have always shown loyalty, hope and courage equal to the circumstances we faced.
And in our darkest hours and in our finest moments, the Australian National Flag has united us as a symbol of our identity and pride.
Flown at home and overseas, in celebration and in mourning, it has affirmed we are a people strong in our values and our freedoms, and confident in our future.
I am proud to wear an Australian National Flag pin on my lapel. It reminds me every day to pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.
On Monday 3 September 2018, Australian National Flag Day, I encourage all Australians to honour and reflect on the history and symbolism represented by our flag.
The Hon Scott Morrison MP
From the Prime Minister*, Malcolm Turnbull MP:
On 3 September Australian National Flag Day is celebrated, marking 117 years since our flag was first flown.
As the chief symbol of our nation, the Australian National Flag welcomes our newest citizens and celebrates our achievements. It has flown on battlefields far from home and solemnly marked our times of mourning.
The Australian National Flag was chosen through an international competition, an early sign of our creativity and steadfast belief in giving each other a fair go.
As a young nation, we have achieved an extraordinary amount since the flag was first unfurled at Melbourne’s Exhibition Building in 1901.
Under this flag we have grown into a prosperous and peaceful modern nation, and forged unique Australian values, underpinned by democracy and egalitarianism.
Today, our flag flies proudly atop our institutions, homes and schools, the only national flag to fly across an entire continent. It is often accompanied by the Australian Aboriginal Flag and Torres Strait Islander Flag, in a powerful reminder of the richness of our great country.
Australian National Flag Day is an enduring reminder of our history and an opportunity to affirm our commitment to an even stronger future for all Australians.
The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP
* at the time of the message
From the Federal Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten MP:
It gives me great pleasure to join with fellow Australians in celebrating Australian National Flag Day 2018.
The 3rd of September is an annual day of commemoration to mark the first flying of the Australian National Flag in 1901 at the Royal Exhibition building, Melbourne.
In the century since that first unveiling, the Australian flag has shared our national journey.
Today, on its 117th “birthday” we marvel at the enduring legacy of our national flag throughout the generations – through times of war and peace, struggle and prosperity.
The Australian flag remains the unmistakable visual symbol of our nationhood: flying on the flagpoles of our treasured national institutions, waved among cheering crowds at sporting competitions, or hung proudly on young people’s backpacks as they venture abroad.
Ours is a flag that unites an entire continent, the “stars and crosses” capturing our ideals, our geography, our indigenous heritage and our unity.
This year, on National Flag Day, I encourage Australians to take the opportunity to discover the history of our 117 year old flag and its significance to our shared identity.
From Member for Warringah and former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott MP:
National Flag Day is an opportunity to celebrate the flag that has been with us on every step of our national journey.
It’s a flag of stars and crosses. The crosses represent our history and our heritage. The stars under which indigenous people have roamed for thousands of years, represent our dreams – past, present and future. It’s a flag that represents our indigenous heritage and our British foundation.
As Australians, we are accustomed to say that we were born under this flag, have fought under this flag, have cheered for this flag and many of us wish to be buried under this flag.
This year, our veterans will compete against former service personnel from around the world in Sydney with pride under the Australian flag at the Invictus Games.
This year, and every year on this day, we salute the flag that has been a symbol of our nation and a focus for our pride.
The Hon Tony Abbott MP, Member for Warringah
From former Prime Minister, John Howard OM AC:
The Australian Flag remains integral to our history as a nation. It successfully blends so much of what we proudly call the Australian achievement.
Yours Sincerely, John Howard
From Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, AO, DSC
The Australian national flag identifies and unites Australians, representing all that we do.
Since it was first flown on 3 September 1901, the Australian flag has grown to become an icon that symbolises our heritage, values and character as a nation, and is used to demonstrate our pride in national achievements.
The Australian flag is especially significant to Australian Defence Force personnel who have fought and died under our flag to protect the freedoms that Australians enjoy today. We proudly wear the flag on our uniform each day as a constant reminder of our duty to serve the nation and honour those who gave their lives to defend it.
On 3 September, Australian National Flag Day, I encourage all Australians to reflect on what our flag represents, and the sacrifices made under this flag for our nation.
Angus J Campbell, AO, DSC
General & Chief of the Defence Force
From the Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson AO:
Six Australian Flags fly proudly in front of the Australian War Memorial. In direct line of sight from the Parliament, each is a reminder of the truths by which we live and the values that bind us as Australians.
Australian men and women have served, fought, suffered and died under our flag from the First World War to Afghanistan, in peace and in war.
The Australian flag reminds us every single day of those who made us who we are and gave us what we have. In doing so, it inspires us to be outward looking people confident in who we are and in what we believe.
On national Flag Day there is much to celebrate and for which to give thanks, today and everyday….’for we are young and free.
The Honourable Dr Brendan Nelson AO, Director, Australian War Memorial
From the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, Senator James McGrath:
117 years ago, on 3 September 1901, a blue flag – 11 metres long and 5 and a half metres wide – was raised for the first time from the main dome of the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, then home of the Commonwealth Parliament.
Since that day, the Australian National Flag – that blue flag of stars and crosses – has proudly represented our young Federation at home and abroad, and expressed the shared identity of all Australians.
It is a symbol of the values for which our nation stands, and a beacon of the freedoms and liberties for which countless brave Australians have fought.
I commend the great work of the Australian National Flag Association of New South Wales in building community understanding of the Australian National Flag and its history.
James McGrath, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister
Senator for Queensland
From Liberal Senator for NSW, Jim Molan AO DSC:
I am delighted to be one of many Australians celebrating Australian National Flag Day for 2018.
The annual celebration of the first flying of the Australian flag is a time for us to reflect upon and celebrate many of the challenges and successes which have helped build our nation.
The flag is the clear celebration of our nation and our people, whether it is on the shoulders of our troops, flying over national monuments both here and around the world or celebrated by Australians globally.
Our flag is a unifying symbol, one which binds all Australians and continues to promote our national identity, and I offer my very best wishes for all Australians on this significant day.
Yours sincerely, Senator Jim Molan AO, DSC
Senator for New South Wales
From the Chairman of the Merchant Navy War Memorial Fund, David Field FAICD:
Australia’s annual National Flag Day once again reminds us that since it’s introduction in 1901, it has been a symbol of great pride for our country. In two World Wars and many other conflicts our National Flag has flown, as a nation seeking a peaceful world. In peacetime how many of us feel that sense of pride in our nation, as honoured Australians enter an opening ceremony of the Olympic or Commonwealth Games.
The blue Commonwealth Flag (Australian National Flag) and the Australian Red Ensign for the Merchant service and pleasure craft. The two versions of our flag were identical in design with the field (background) colour being blue and red.
Our National Flag day is also a day to remember with great respect the very significant number of Australian Merchant Navy seaman who gave their lives for their country in WWI & WWII. Their great courage and heroism and uncomplaining dedication to duty had the unreserved admiration of the sailors of the world’s navies.
Those who were lost, and those who finally came home, but alive, have left an enduring legacy of service above self for us to learn from. That capacity for endurance of the common man facing uncommon danger is a lesson that every generation needs to learn afresh.
David Field FAICD, Chairman, The Merchant Navy War Memorial Fund
From the Governor of NSW, David Hurley AC DSC (Retd)
I convey my best wishes to the Australian National Flag Association (NSW) on the occasion of the celebration of Australian National Flag Day and Merchant Navy Day on 3rd September 2018.
This date marks the 117th Anniversary since the first flag was flown on 3rd September 1901. Under the Australian Flag, we have celebrated our achievements, our Australian identity and our pride.
Our Australian Flag has witnessed our journey as a nation, through good times and through tough times. Throughout our vast nation and overseas, it has held special significance for all those who have served and continue to serve or represent their country.
Our flag unites people of over 200 cultural backgrounds who have come to call this nation home.
On National Flag Day, I encourage all Australians to come together to continue to build inclusiveness within our community, united under our Australian Flag.
His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of New South Wales
From the Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian MP
I am pleased to send my best wishes to all Australians on the occasion of Australian National Flag Day 2018.
This important occasion reminds us of the role we each play in being good citizens and making our communities stronger.
On behalf of the NSW Government, I encourage all Australians to fly the Australian flag on 3 September 2018, and I thank the Australian National Flag Association for your dedication and hard work.
Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL FLAG DAY MESSAGE, 2018
The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP – Minister for Education
National Flag Day is a time for young people across NSW to celebrate the history, heritage, values and spirit that make Australia the great nation it is today.
Through the turmoil of World War I, World War II and the Great Depression, our national flag stood aloft as a symbol of strength and courage in the face of adversity.
It was in this crucible of pain, hardship and sacrifice that the modern nation of Australia was born. From the ancient land our forebears stood upon, we grew and flourished as a people who saw justice, freedom and a fair go for all as the most noble of aims to strive for.
Today, our flag is recognised as a beacon of hope across the world, the national icon of one of the oldest continuous liberal democracies in existence. And it is raised and waved with great vigour to celebrate our many and varied achievements across all fields of human endeavour.
Our flag embodies the values of equality, inclusiveness and compassion that make our nation great. It signifies the ethos that whoever you are, whatever your background or personal circumstance, you can achieve your full potential as a citizen of our nation.
Most fundamentally, we are a nation that values nothing more greatly than its people, and that the only requirement to be an Australian is your service to your fellow citizens. This is at the heart of what our flag symbolises.
I urge all students across NSW to stand proud as they raise the flag, and reflect upon the nation they’ve inherited from past generations. The greatest way you can honour their legacy is to work on building a future that’s even better for generations to come.
From the NSW Leader of the Opposition, Luke Foley MP:
On the 3 September 1901 as the result of an open public competition the Australian flag was unfurled.
Since that time our flag has become the symbol of a rich and successful nation proudly taking its place on the world stage; be it through business, sport, humanitarian assistance and our military, or to an Australian backpacker in the streets of a foreign city.
As we recognise the 117th anniversary of the Australian flag I encourage the people of New South Wales to celebrate this land of peace and plenty that we so proudly call home.
Yours Sincerely, Luke Foley MP, NSW Labor Leader
From the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore
Since 1901, the Australian National Flag has been a powerful symbol of a democratic nation united in our values of freedom, inclusion and respect.
As it turns 117, the National Flag continues to bring Australians together, whatever their background, reminding them of their common goals, aspirations and values, in times of celebration and difficulty.
The National Flag has been a rallying and uniting force for Australians at war, and during peacetime as a way of commemorating and celebrating our achievements.
On September 3, as on other days, the National Flag will be flown with pride across our City and I hope that you will join me in flying it too.
Yours Sincerely, Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney