JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Flagging fortunes await Union Jack in the corner

The Fitz Files

<i>Illustration: Reg Lynch</i>

Illustration: Reg Lynch

TFF was buried under emails and tweets after Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's comments to the BBC on the subject of whether Australia might follow New Zealand's move into the 21st century by looking at changing its flag.

''Believe it or not,'' she said, ''[the flag] is not an issue that actually draws much attention in Australia. I believe we will stick with the flag. There's no great demand to change it and many Australians have fought and died under that flag, sadly. We have competed in Olympic Games under that flag and there's a sense of pride in it.'' She went on to note the flag contained the Southern Cross which was, ''very Australian''. She even said she hadn't wanted to raise the subject of removing the Union Jack with Foreign Secretary William Hague and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond and certainly wasn't going to raise it with the Queen - as if the views of those three English people have something to do with what WE AUSTRALIANS want to do with the flag! Where to even begin? Personally, I need a cup of tea and a lie-down, and will resume in the next segment …

 

Canadian change

OK, I am calm. Ish. My first question is what bubble is the minister living in that the constant debate about the need to change the flag now going on all over Australia - at a level never before seen - has escaped her? Is her primary reason to not change really because of the most repeated furphy of the lot, that ''our soldiers fought and died for it''? Does she not know that the few times Australians displayed the flag in wartime before 1954 - when Prime Minister Menzies promoted the current blue ensign - it was the red ensign that was used and in WWI it was mostly the Union Jack at that? Early on, the Defence Department was very much against the display of the blue ensign as being too marine, and in the first action of WWI - the taking of Rabaul from the Germans - it was the Union Jack that was raised. As one writing a book on Gallipoli at the moment, who has done books on Nancy Wake, Kokoda and Tobruk, I can recall not a single episode I've read where the flag, one way or t'other, was an issue. Canada changed its flag in 1965, and they all now love their distinctively Canadian flag. Was that disrespectful to their war veterans at the time though? Did they not go to an Olympics before that? I'm sorry. I need another cup of tea and a good lie-down.

 

Tragic mystery

The Malaysia Airlines flight? Has there ever been a greater aviation mystery, at least in the modern age? Have you ever seen more claims, counter-claims, counter-counter-claims by serious people all asserting quite opposing views? What is the explanation? I have no idea, nor even suspicions, but that mystery is, primarily, what last week will be remembered for. All strength to the families.

 

Joke of the week

What is the greatest kids joke of all time? For my money it is this'un, so long as you do the hand actions with it. Take it away, maestro …

It is morning time in Bullawacky Billabong and the wide-mouthed frog decides it is time to go exploring.

Hippity-hop, hippity-hop - off he goes, and soon he comes to a wombat.

''Hello, Mr Wombat,'' says the wide-mouthed frog. ''What do you do?'' ''Well,'' says the wombat, ''I sleep in my burrow and come lumbering out at night to look for food, and then I get back to my burrow before the sun comes up, so I can sleep all day before doing it all again.''

''That's great,'' says the wide-mouthed frog. ''Cheerio!''

Hippity-hop, hippity-hop - off he goes again, and presently he comes to a massive goanna.

''Hello, Mr Goanna,'' says the wide-mouthed frog. ''What do you do?''

The goanna looks him up and down and then says, ''I eat wide-mouthed frogs.''

''Oh,'' says the wide-mouthed frog, desperately pushing the sides of his mouth together with his little fingers, ''You don't see many of those around.''

Twitter: @Peter_Fitz

 

They said it ...

Well over 95 per cent of the content examined attracted no criticism or concerns. However the criticisms that were made are welcome, and have received proper consideration.

ABC chairman James Spigelman after a review of ABC television current affairs programs, conducted by former 60 Minutes executive producer Gerald Stone, found no systemic bias in the broadcaster’s coverage.

My own view is that the church in Australia should be able to be sued in cases of this kind.

Cardinal Pell in a written statement to the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse. On the way to Rome, did he pass by Damascus, to have undergone such a conversion?

We want a design that says ‘New Zealand’ in the same way that the maple leaf says ‘Canada’, or the Union Jack says ‘Britain’, without a word being spoken, or a bar of those countries’ anthems being heard.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke.

Sarah Palin, once just one election and one heartbeat away from the US presidency and the nuclear codes, on how Russian aggression could be stopped.

56 comments

  • Fitz, give up on your flimsy argument to change the flag. The Canadian's voted to change their flag but 25% of Canadians are of French heritage who hate the British and also wanted a separate 'state' to the rest of Canada where they speak English. If you are going to wage a relentless war on the flag at least be honest enough to put the real facts in your opinion piece. Off to the sin bin Fitz.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Date and time
    March 16, 2014, 10:08AM
    • e-e

      I cant believe we actually agree on something......keep the flag as is !

      Commenter
      Buffalo Bill
      Location
      Sydneys Northshore
      Date and time
      March 16, 2014, 10:52AM
    • On second thoughts........

      Commenter
      enough is enough
      Date and time
      March 16, 2014, 11:06AM
    • I wonder what the Aboriginals of Australia think of our British heritage?

      Commenter
      Perspective
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 16, 2014, 11:31AM
    • i would have thought at least 25% of us hate the british too so that argument can be put to bed.
      for those who want to hang onto our colonial past good on them.
      but it's time we grew up.

      Commenter
      Nick
      Date and time
      March 16, 2014, 11:42AM
    • e-e - totally agree. Having spend many months in Canada on work assignments, I agree that we need to be careful using their example to push our own flag debate. The flag was in response to separatists calls in Quebec where any symbol of UK heritage was a red flag (pun intended!)
      If we get to the point where Canberra wants to cecede from the Commonwealth of Australia, then lets restart the flag debate and follow the Canadian lead.

      Commenter
      Kym
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 16, 2014, 11:43AM
    • Fitz, the so called independent review by Stone of the ABC is interesting given Stone is a former ABC journalist. You lefties will have to get some real independence in for your next attempt to justify real lefty, Green bias. No more sin bins, you're off the field for good until you bring some balance to your opinions.

      Commenter
      enough is enough
      Date and time
      March 16, 2014, 11:46AM
    • Well more than 25% of Australians have no direct connection whatsoever with the British and many of them even hate the Poms, so where does that leave your flimsy argument!

      Commenter
      Tin
      Date and time
      March 16, 2014, 11:55AM
    • Whats the old saying? if it seems to good to be true..... then it is?

      Commenter
      Buffalo Bill
      Location
      Sydneys Northshore
      Date and time
      March 16, 2014, 11:59AM
    • Tin, the majority rules in a democracy, argument not required.

      Commenter
      SteveH.
      Date and time
      March 16, 2014, 12:02PM

More comments

Comments are now closed
Featured advertisers