2022 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)

The Australian National Flag is a symbol of our nation. The flag is instantly recognisable and a strong presence in our lives.

For more than 30 years the Australian National Flag Association has helped increase Australians’ awareness of the history and significance of our foremost national symbol.

Each year, on Australian National Flag Day, the 3rd September, the Association actively encourages communities the length and breadth of Australia to hold a special flag raising ceremony and/or for citizens to wear a flag badge. I thank the many volunteers at the Association for their valuable work.

I encourage all Australians on Australian National Flag Day 2022 to look to their flag and our nation with immense pride and in the knowledge that together we can achieve great things and overcome any challenge.

220903 GG message – Australia National Flag Day 2022 FINAL

From the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese MP

The way our national flag was born was as true to the Australian character as you could have expected: a design competition that attracted nearly 33,000 entries at a time when Australia’s population was barely more than three-and-a-half million. Not so much a groundswell of enthusiasm as a great wave.

It was also an expression of the voice and energy of a people. The competition victory was spread across five entrants: a school student, an apprentice optician, an architect, an artist, and a naval officer. The result of this great collective effort is the flag that flies across our continent.

As we mark 121 years of our national flag, we have the maturity as a nation and a
people to take pride in it, while at the same time acknowledging that it is not so
straightforward for many First Nations people.

Our flag reminds us of all we have achieved as Australians, sometimes against the odds. It has been there in our good times and bad, through the sorrows and the triumphs. As we look to the better post-pandemic future that is within our reach, let us be inspired and energised by the hope that our flag embodies.

Australia Flag Day Message

From the Leader of the Opposition, Peter Dutton MP

The 3rd of September this year marks the 121st anniversary of when our national flag was first flown over the dome of the Exhibition Building in Melbourne – the site of our first Commonwealth Parliament. After that historic moment in 1901, The Brisbane Courier reported on its importance the following day:

“Nationhood is better for the concrete expression; and nothing will stir up enthusiasm
or rouse the sense of regard for the country in which we live like a constant sight of
the flag of Australia.”

Since that time, our national flag has been a source of pride and unity. It has inspired great deeds and even greater sacrifices which have improved our nation and kept it safe and secure.

Under our national flag, ordinary Australians have done the extraordinary. They have served, fought and died in defence of our country and our national interests. They have helped each other during bushfires, floods, droughts and pandemics. They have gone to the aid of our neighbours when natural disasters or crises have struck their shores. They have represented our nation with honour and achieved great success in sports of every kind. They have excelled in all fields of endeavour, making our country better for successive generations. And they have helped their communities, neighbours, friends, family and strangers in the darkest of days and when others have been down and out.

We live in uncertain and dangerous times where authoritarianism is trying to reassert itself through force and coercion. As we look at our national flag today, wherever it flies, it carries even greater symbolic weight. It reinforces the things we hold dear: sovereignty, democracy and liberty. It reminds us of our history; that we are the beneficiaries of a great inheritance which must always be defended. And it provides us with national confidence and unity that will help us to prevail no matter the challenge.

On this National Flag Day, our flag inspires love of country, gratitude to our forebears,
loyalty to nation, and dedication to its future when it matters most.

220903 – LOTO – National Flag Day – Message

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. It remains our most cherished national symbol.

Australia National Flag Day – John Howard message

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

This year marks the 121st anniversary of the first flying of the Australian National Flag (ANF) on 3 September 1901. On this important occasion, we reflect on the significance of our chief national symbol, including the unique values, heritage and national character it represents.

Over the past few years, our nation has endured much, including bushfires, extreme flooding, and the continuing effects of COVID-19. Yet, throughout it all, we have responded to these challenges as a nation, united under our national flag.

For Australian Defence Force personnel, the ANF holds particular significance. It is a symbol of the nation we are sworn to defend, and the high representational standards that are expected of us by the Australian people. When we look to the ANF, we are reminded of the extraordinary heroism and immense sacrifices made by our forebears while defending the ideals our flag embodies.

On ANF Day, I encourage all Australians to reflect on what our flag represents, and to honour the legacy of the brave men and women who have served under it to secure the peace and prosperity our nation enjoys today.

CDF Flag Day 2022

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

In our collection we have a number of Australian Flags. One of these, a faded and stained version is made from scraps.  This flag was created from found materials by Reginald Noel Farquhar and others at Rajburi Camp in Thailand when he was a prisoner of war in 1944.  It was hidden but later allowed to be used when Australians were being buried.  That the men of the camp would risk their lives to create the flag speaks volumes to me about the place it holds in Australian hearts and minds. 

I have in my office another Australian flag, with a personal story.  It is the flag that flew over the Australian Embassy in Kabul when I was Ambassador there.  It is a reminder to me of those I met there who were serving proudly under it and everything it stands for.  The Memorial is in a time of great change. We are developing new galleries to tell the stories of the nearly 100, 000 veterans who have served in modern conflicts, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.  These service personnel and their families believe in the values our flag represents. This flag day, the 121st anniversary of the Australian National Flag, we remember those who served, those still serving and the families who support them.  We look forward to telling their stories here in future, under our Australian flag.

From the Chairman of the Merchant Navy War Memorial Fund, David Field FAICD

In 1901 two flags were born. The blue Australian National Flag and the Australian Red Ensign, the official flag to be flown at sea by Australian registered merchant ships. When the Australian Red Ensign is flown along with the Australian National Flag, the Australian National Flag is flown in the position of honour. Our flag is a symbol of the nationhood that has carried our country during good times and tough times, through peace and war, and under which we have strived for democratic freedoms, democracy and celebrated the shared values of our citizenship.
Australian National Flag Day has been celebrated in Australia since 3 September 1996 & Merchant Navy Day. Since 2008. Merchant Navy Day is an opportunity to remember the service and sacrifice of thousands of Australia’s merchant mariners during wartime. We once again remember the bravery, courage & sacrifice of those who served our country & paid the supreme sacrifice & those who were able to return, to their families. The capacity for endurance of the common man, facing uncommon danger, is a lesson that every generation needs to understand, together with appreciation for the freedom we enjoy today.
Our merchant sailors were simply ordinary men — ordinary Australians — doing a job they had done for many years. But when World War One broke out, and then in World War Two, their daily workplace became a bloodied battlefield — and merchant ships became a lucrative target. That’s because their contribution to the war effort was vital. They crewed hospital ships, and transported food, water, fuel, ammunition, and so many other vital supplies. Attacks on those merchant ships amounted to attacks on our front-line soldiers.

But despite this grave risk, merchant sailors pressed on with the job at hand. They were not trained for war, and their ships were not prepared for bullets, bombs, and torpedoes. What it must have taken them to pack their bags, kiss their family members goodbye, dig deep and board those ships – is unimaginable to most of us. And the desperate fear they must have felt when a torpedo struck their ship in the middle of the night, as was so often the case. None of them wore a uniform, yet their courage equalled that of our uniformed sailors, soldiers and airmen and women.

Australia is so lucky that throughout our history— and, indeed, today — brave men and women, in and out of uniform, put themselves in harm’s way for the betterment of our nation. We also pay thanks to the seafarers, who today, carry cargo around the world. They often also pay a price for their service, with long & lonely days at sea, separation from their families and more recently confinement to their ships, during periods of Covid restrictions. Our Vision Statement reads:
To ensure that the Australian Merchant Navy “A title emblazoned in battle and honoured in freedom” is recognised as an important part of Australian Maritime History and Social Culture.

From the Governor of Queensland, Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM

For thousands of years, across cultures and continents, flags have been seen as powerful emblems of identity and belonging. Historically, they served as rallying signals. In more recent times, we have come to view flags as highly significant symbols of unity, pride and community.

On Saturday 3 September, we commemorate the anniversary of the Australian National Flag, first unfurled 121 years ago atop Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Centre – the site of Australia’s first Commonwealth Parliament.

As an Australian, I cannot help but be stirred at the sight of the National Flag, whether it be on a military parade, hoisted over school grounds, or an international sporting event or flying at an embassy in a foreign land.

Across our vast continent, it has been flown in times of celebration and sorrow, reminded us of heroics and sacrifice, and has inspired a love of country.

I commend the members and volunteers of the Australian National Flag Association for their valuable work in raising awareness of the history and significance of this important symbol of our nation.

Australian National Flag Association (Queensland)

From the Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk MP

This year on 3 September the national flag will be raised across the state at schools, businesses, homes and Queensland Parliament for Australian National Flag Day, marking 121 years since it flew for the first time in 1901.

The flag is a powerful symbol of pride, bringing together Australians irrespective of location, background, culture, faith, age or gender.

It has been flown and united us through times of triumph and loss, through wars, pandemics and natural disasters. Since 1908, the Australian national flag has been raised for medal winners at every Olympic Games and I look forward to seeing it raised in 10 years’ time at the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Our national flag is a reminder of the contributions of past and current generations of this nation and of the legacy that will be passed onto future generations.

I congratulate the Australian National Flag Association for its continued commitment to increasing awareness of the flag’s long and treasured history.

This Australian National Flag Day, I encourage all Queenslanders to fly or display the flag while reflecting on what it means to be Australian.

As we continue to face uncertain times, its presence reminds us to draw together, celebrate our diversity and rest assured that we will continue to prosper as a nation.


From the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore

On September 3, as on other days, the National Flag will be flown across the City of Sydney.

From its first use in 1901, the Australian National Flag has become our most recognised symbol and expression of Australian identity.

As a Nation, we celebrate our victories under this flag – we mourn in times of grief and unite in reconciliation. We now come together under this National Flag, as a proud, inclusive country, to build a strong and resilient future.

On this 121st anniversary, the National Flag continues to remind Australians of our great fortune to live in this country, as well as our responsibility to care for this land and each other.

On behalf of the City of Sydney, I send my best wishes for National Flag Day 2022.

Lord Mayor Flag Day Message 2022