News National Greens renew flag debate

Greens renew flag debate

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The Greens have declared they are ready for a new debate about the national flag, as a step towards becoming a republic.

The party does not have a particular design it wants to put forward.

But leader Richard Di Natale believes it would be healthy for Australia to one day follow New Zealand and potentially hold a plebiscite.

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“It’s one of the national symbols that defines who we are,” Senator Di Natale said.

“I do think having a flag that really represents the Australian identity is something we should be open to doing.”

Mr Di Natale said he thinks the Union Jack is “unlikely to be preserved” and believes there is a lot of support in the community for change.

Former Greens Leader Bob Brown has long argued for a new flag and even promoted certain designs featuring the Southern Cross and a kangaroo.

But Senator Di Natale said a renewed flag debate would just be a step towards building “consensus and unity” about an Australian republic.

“We’ve got three political leaders who support a republic,” he said, referring to himself, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten.

“This idea we need to wait for the Queen to die to take steps to a republic just defeats the whole purpose.”

His comments come as Prince Charles arrives in Canberra for Remembrance Day and is exactly 40 years since Gough Whitlam’s government was sacked by Governor-General, Sir John Kerr.

When asked whether he would prefer a new flag or a republic, Senator Di Natale replied a republic was more important.

“Let’s not let [the flag design] become a stumbling block,” he said.

“But we have an opportunity to forge a national symbol that reflects our national identity and I think that could be part of the process.”


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