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AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL FLAG DAY
Today is Australian National Flag Day which celebrates the first time our national flag was flown. On 3 September 1901, the then Prime Minister, Edmund Barton, announced the results of a competition to select a national flag for Australia.
Since the flag was first designed it has been flown around the world as an emblem of our nation and our people. On national days of celebration and mourning, in peace and war time, the Australian National Flag is a symbol that unites the nation.
As Australians we can take pride in our rich heritage, democratic traditions and respect for diversity. The Southern Cross reminds us of our unique position in the world as it can only be seen in the night skies of the southern hemisphere. The Commonwealth Star represents the federation of the six states and territories.
On Australian National Flag Day, I encourage all Australians to fly or display the Australian National Flag proudly in their schools and communities.
Merchant Navy Day is also commemorated on 3 September. While the Australian Red Ensign is the official flag flown at sea by Australian registered merchant ships, on this day, organisations and individuals commemorating Merchant Navy Day are free to fly the Australian Red Ensign.
Additional information on the Australian National Flag and the protocols for flying the flag can be found on the website www.itsanhonour.gov.au.