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Flags and anthems
Flag
Australian Flag
Australia's National Flag was adopted in 1984. It is an adaptation of the British Blue Ensign used by British dependencies and a few approved British ships. It reflects Australia's then links with the United Kingdom. Australian servicemen and women in WWII fought under this flag as did those in later campaigns (such as Korea, Vietnam and East Timor). Service personnel in the Crimean War (Gallipolli) and WWI did not know this flag.
The flag is blue, with the British Union Flag (signifying the political union of England, Scotland and Ireland) in the top-hoist quarter. In the lower-hoist quarter is a seven pointed star signifying the six Original States and the Territories jointly, called the Commonwealth Star. The Commonwealth Star also appears in Australia's Arms. In the fly part of the flag is a representation of the five brightest stars in the constellation of the Southern Cross (Crux), signifying the geographical location of Australia.
There is no essential link between a Republican Referendum and the flag [1]. The issues are quite independent and there is no mention of a flag in the Constitution. The flag can continue into the future or can be changed  by an Act of the Australian Parliament (without a Referendum).
Anthem
Australia's Anthem used to be 'God Save the Queen' which is still the Royal Anthem! In 1984 this was changed by the Parliament to adopt the tune of   Advance Australia Fair and two verses of the words as our National Song. Most Australians can barely remember all of the first verse (what or where is 'girt', people ask), and very few can remember any of the second verse (which was originally the third). The original second, fourth and fifth verses are now too embarrassing to sing in public, and totally unacceptable to 99% of Australians (the curious may look here). Here are the two verses left, which have been slightly edited (officially) from the original text. There is also a reworded but unofficial version, but no-one knows the words except the first two lines and the refrain so nobody cares much. Just watch Australians 'singing' when the anthem is played to verify this statement.

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We've golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea.
Our land abounds in Nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In hist'ry's page, let ev'ry stage
Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
"Advance Australia Fair."

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We'll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
"Advance Australia Fair."
Unofficially, Waltzing Matilda is widely regarded by Australians as our unapproved 'anthem'. No celebratory hymn (which is what anthem means) this, but it has a catchy tune, good words even if most Australians don't understand all of them, and it tells of rejecting petty authority. All very Australian qualities. You must see Roger Clarke's site on Waltzing Matilda, or another more 'approved' site here.
There is no essential link between a Republican Referendum and an Australian anthem. The issues are quite independent and there is no mention of an anthem, a tune, or a song in the Constitution. Advance Australia Fair can continue into the future or can be changed  by an Act of the Australian Parliament (without a Referendum).

© Copyright  2000, 2001  AHJ Sale
Page last modified on 2001 July 20