MEDIA RELEASE

Saturday 20 August 1994

Kieren Perkins awarded gold medal under Australian flag

International spectators confused by NZ flags

Ausflags′s Executive Director Harold Scruby, congratulated Kieren Perkins on his magnificent gold medal win today in the 200 metres freestyle event at the Commonwealth Games.

Mr Perkins was a judge in the Australian Flag Competition which was held by Ausflag in December last year.

Mr Scruby said that it was ironic that two New Zealanders should have come second and third in this event because it so clearly highlighted the inadequacy of the Australian flag, particularly when near or next to the NZ flag.

"World TV viewers could be forgiven for being totally confused when the virtually identical NZ flag was raised on either side of the Australian flag. We′re suffering from a real identity crisis", he said. "We wouldn′t have this problem if we had our own flag like Canada, New Guinea or South Africa."

Mr Scruby said that following publication of yesterday′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.