I encourage all Australians to celebrate the birthday of our nation’s flag on 3 September, to bring to mind its symbolism and its unifying force.
Although this year is the eighth anniversary of the proclamation of Australian National Flag Day, our flag has been our ultimate national symbol for more than one hundred years, first flying officially in Melbourne in 1901.
Wherever I travel throughout our nation – to its cities and the vast outback – the Australian flag is the centrepiece of community celebrations and civic gatherings. For Australians overseas it is the finest reminder of home. I see our flag as one of the great constants in a rapidly changing world; a symbol that underpins common purpose as Australians look forward with confidence to an exciting and prosperous future.
On Australian National Flag Day – 3 September 2004 – I urge all our citizens to honour the flag and to wear, carry or display it with pride.