MEDIA RELEASE

Monday 22 August 1994

Epsilon missing from Australian Flag

In an omission not dissimilar from the incident when Tasmania was left off the map of Australia at the Brisbane Commonwealth Games, Channel 10 is now broadcasting all the Australian flag graphics from Victoria in Canada, minus the fifth star of the Southern Cross (Epsilon), the Executive Director of Ausflag, Harold Scruby said today.

This makes the Australian flag look even more like the NZ flag which only depicts four stars in the Southern Cross constellation. This was in some ways forgivable, because the flags are virtually identical. It also explains why Ottawa, Canada was festooned with NZ flags during Mr Hawke′s visit to Canada in 1982, Mr Scruby said.

It was also interesting to note that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Island all had their own unique flags, without the Union Jack. Only three sovereign independent nations of the 64 competing, Australia, New Zealand and Tuvalu (population 8000), still have defaced British ensigns as their national flags, he said.

Mr Scruby said that following publication of last week′s Newspoll stating that 59% of Olympic and Commonwealth gold medallists now supported a new flag, it is now vital that the Federal Government recognises that there is a strong and growing desire for a new flag. The Newspoll showed a greater desire to change the flag (59%) than to become a republic (53%).

He called on the Government to put at least the same resources towards the research and development of a truly Australian flag as it has given to the Republic Advisory Committee, in order that we have our own flag in time for the 2000 Olympics.