2021 Messages

Australian National Flag Day on September 3rd, the birthday of the flag, gives us the opportunity to reflect on the significance and importance of our flag.

Each year, Flag Day Australia receives messages from the nation’s leaders in commemoration of Flag Day. Coming from a wide spectrum of Australian dignitaries, the messages are thoughtful and offer valuable perspectives on the significance of the flag.

Flag Day Australia is grateful to the prominent Australians who have taken the time to form these thoughtful messages.

From the Governor General, David Hurley AC DSC (Retd)

Today, 3 September 2021, our Australian National Flag turns 120.

Many Australians both at home and abroad will look to our National Flag today and in their own private way reflect on what it means to them. To that end, I commend all at the Australian National Flag Association for their work in encouraging people to identify with our foremost national symbol.

Our National Flag is as unique as it is enduring. We were the first country to hold an open public competition to choose our National Flag – more than 32,800 Australians submitted designs – and to this day it is the only flag to fly over an entire continent. Our National Flag, not unlike the Australian character, is truly unique. It is a symbol of who we are, our history and our future.

At this moment in our nation’s history, Linda and I encourage all Australians to look to our National Flag with pride and as a symbol of our strength, especially in times of adversity.

210903 GG message – Australian National Flag Day FINAL

From the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison MP

For 120 years, Australians have served and sacrificed, endured and triumphed under the Australian National Flag.

On National Flag Day in 2021, we celebrate, commemorate and honour that history, and rededicate ourselves to the values and the nation that our flag symbolises.

In a year of particular hardship, at home and overseas, I have been heartened and proud to see our flag fly over Australian missions of humanitarian aid and assistance. Sending vaccines and critical medical supplies to our friends in the Indo-Pacific has been a work of friendship and global citizenship.

In a year of sporting triumph, too, we have celebrated Australian feats of athleticism and resilience. Our Olympians flew the flag proudly in Tokyo and our Paralympians are competing under it with the same pride and determination right now.

At home and abroad, the Australian National Flag represents our national values. It reminds us of our history, our geographic place in the world, and the united and free continent we share.

It is with pride that I wear our flag each day – it is a quiet reminder to me of the people I serve and the country we all love. It speaks to all of us of a country that is ‘one and free’.

No matter where the flag is flown in the world, the Southern Cross reminds us of our bonds to this land, to each other, and the 60,000 years of history that we will always honour.

On Australian National Flag Day, it’s an honour to celebrate this great national symbol that unites all Australians.

National Flag Day 2021

From the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese MP

It is so fitting that our national flag was born out of a competition – and a very popular competition, at that. Australia’s population was barely more than three-and-a-half million, and yet nearly 33,000 entries came pouring in.

Just as fittingly, it was a win spread across five people who represented something of a cross section of the nation: a school student, an apprentice optician, an architect, an artist and a naval officer. The result of their efforts is the only flag to fly across an entire continent.

We are mature enough as a nation to be able to take pride in our flag while acknowledging that the situation is not so straightforward for many First Nations people.

Nevertheless, it is a flag that represents hope. Just as it reminds us of all we have achieved as Australians, even when the odds against us seemed overwhelming. If there’s a message we need to hear loudly and clearly in the second year of pandemic, this is it.

As we once again mark National Flag Day in deeply challenging circumstances, let us take the hope that our flag embodies and use it to shape a better future.

Albanese – National Flag Day

From former Prime Minister, John Howard OM AC

The Australian Flag remains integral to our history as a nation. It successfully blends so much of what we proudly call the Australian achievement.

Flag Day Message 29.7.21

From Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, AO, DSC

The Australian national flag identifies and unites Australians, representing all that we do. Since it was first flown on 3 September 1901, the Australian flag has grown to become an icon that symbolises our heritage, values, and character as a nation. It demonstrates our pride in our national achievements.

The Australian flag is especially significant to Australian Defence Force personnel who have served under our flag, to protect the freedoms that Australians enjoy today. We proudly wear the flag on our uniform each day and are reminded of the contributions of our past and current generations to our nation, and honour all those who gave their lives to defend it.

On 3 September, Australian National Flag Day, I encourage all Australians to reflect on what our flag represents, and the sacrifices made under this flag for our nation.

Flag Day 2021 – Messsage from the Chief of the Defence Force

From the Director of the Australian War Memorial, Matt Anderson PSM

Today we celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Australian National Flag which provides us with the unique opportunity to celebrate its significance and recognise the part it plays in the history of our nation.

We also observe Merchant Navy Day today and recognise the Australian red ensign. In 1903 King Edward VII approved two designs for the flag of Australia: the Commonwealth blue ensign, and the Commonwealth red ensign, for the merchant Navy. On both ensigns, the stars of the Southern Cross were simplified to four seven-pointed stars and one five pointed star. In 1908 a seventh point was added to the Commonwealth star to represent the Australian territories.

National Flag Day continues to serve as a reminder to Australians of the values and beliefs that our flag stands for.  Those beliefs are strongly shaped and upheld by those who serve and have served in the Australian Defence Force.

All Australians remember the service and sacrifice of defence personnel who have served under the Australian Flag, during times of conflict, as well as on humanitarian and peacekeeping missions.

From the Governor of NSW, Margaret Beazley AC QC

The first unfurling of Australia’s national flag on 3 September 1901 at the original home of our Commonwealth Parliament, the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, marked a new stage in Australia’s history as a federation. The 120th anniversary of that occasion celebrates our achievements since then as a nation, as a democracy and as a people of many backgrounds and cultures.

Our flag is a statement to the world of Australia’s membership of international institutions, most notably the United Nations, and our participation in international and other multi-national events, including the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings and the Commonwealth Games. Recently, our national flag was carried by our athletes at the Tokyo Olympics and, as I write, it flies proudly at the Paralympic Games.

At dawn on Anzac Day, our national flag is raised with quiet dignity as those who have served our nation in war are remembered. It flies at civic and community events, including ceremonies for the many new citizens whom we welcome to our country and who contribute with such pride and passion to our vibrant and diverse community.

On National Flag Day 2021, we embrace the 120-year history of the Australian flag, commemorating its significance as a testament to our ideals and values as a nation.

Best wishes to the Australian National Flag Association (NSW) on this national day.

20210825 – National Flag Day – Written Message – E-Signed

From the Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk MP

On September 3, at Queensland Parliament, at schools, outside offices and homes, Queenslanders will raise the national flag for Australian National Flag Day.

Emblazoned with the Union Jack, Commonwealth Star and the Southern Cross, for 120 years the flag has been viewed by the majority of Australians as a unifying symbol of community pride and connection.

In times of triumph and of grief, we look to the flag – whether it’s raised high to celebrate achievement and success, or flown at half-mast, as a respectful, solemn tribute through a period of mourning.

Each year at the Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony in the proud garrison city of Townsville, I am reminded of the flag’s enduring significance to our veteran community and its journey with the Australian Defence Force, through natural disasters, conflict, and peacekeeping missions.

I commend the Australian National Flag Association for its contribution, increasing awareness of the flag’s long and fascinating history for more than three decades.

This Australian National Flag Day, I encourage all Queenslanders to fly or display the flag, while reflecting on the important values and traditions we all share as Australians.

Queensland Premier DOC21126056

From the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore

On behalf of the City of Sydney, I write to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the Australian National Flag on National Flag Day.

Australians have united under our beloved flag for over a century, in hard times, as well as good. The flag has been a visual rallying cry during wars and other conflicts, as well as acting as an evocative symbol of what we have fought for during times of peace. It represents our shared values, our national identity and our collective commitment to respect, inclusion and freedom.

Our flag is recognised around the globe and is an important part of Australia’s character and traditions. The City of Sydney proudly flies the Australian National Flag from all our buildings. We display it at citizenship ceremonies and at other official events. It bonds all Australians, representing all citizens, and celebrating our rich and diverse community.

Message from the Lord Mayor