27 September 2023

Flag display takes pole position for PM&C

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The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) has marked the 120th year of the first flying of the Australian National Flag in Melbourne on 3 September 1901 by reflecting on the significance of the 2001 Centenary Flag.

The Department said that in 2001 during a re-enactment of the first flag raising ceremony the Centenary Flag was flown to commemorate 100 years of the Australian National Flag.

“The Centenary Flag design is the same as that of the Australian National Flag, except for a white band (headband) running along the short side and a red stripe within that band which represents ‘the thread of kinship that stands at the heart of the federation’,” PM&C said.

“The Centenary Flag is three metres by 1.5 metres in dimensions and is the Commonwealth’s flag of State, which means it is only flown on ceremonial occasions,” the Department said.

“It is not for general use nor is it to be copied.”

PM&C said the Flag’s headband included the text “The Centenary Flag. Presented to the Hon John Howard MP, Prime Minister of Australia on behalf of the people of Australia by the Australian National Flag Association on 3 September 2001 at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne to commemorate the first flying of the Australian National Flag on 3 September 1901 attended by the Rt Hon Sir Edmund Barton MHR, Prime Minister of Australia.”

The Department said the Flag had been flown in each State and Territory and was also flown in London at the opening of the Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park on Remembrance Day (11 November) in 2003.

It said each time the Centenary Flag appeared at a State occasion, it was recorded in a ledger.

“While Australian National Flags that are flown outside in the harsh Australian elements would normally last between three to nine months (with the flag flown on top of Parliament House requiring changing once a month), it is hoped that the Centenary Flag will endure for decades, in remembrance and celebration of the first Australian National Flag,” PM&C said.

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