While sympathising with Paul Zahra’s obviously heartfelt, if slightly incoherent, attempt to defend the Union flag as part of our national flag, (Chronicle Forum Mar 10 “Great Britain is still great”), I think we should bear in mind that its presence is deeply offensive to First Australians whose land was stolen from them under the aegis of this particular flag.
Also, that such a large proportion of the Australian population is not of British descent, so it no longer serves as a symbol of national origins for increasing numbers of Australian citizens.
The present flag, usually referred to as UK by night, is obsolete and, as an independent country, Australia should have its own distinctive flag, along with its own Australian Head of State.
The fact that our parliamentary system derives loosely from the Witenagemot doesn’t really signify very much in terms of preserving the Union flag.
I pass over some of the rather dubious comments about the UK’s legacy to its ex-colonies: my experience in many of them is that it was considerably less benign than Mr Zahra would have us believe.
However, I do concede that the ex-colonies that have prospered have been, by and large, those where British settlers were the working members of colonial society, so that the transfer of their traditional values was, at least at the beginning, an important factor in the direction of the country’s development.
Australia is certainly one of the countries that benefitted from this start, but times have changed, and so should we.
Incidentally, I should mention in passing that the Union flag is made up of the four crosses of St George, St Andrew, St David and St Patrick, and not the three crosses mentioned by Mr Zahra.
Email, Mar 15
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy