National Language, Holiday and Flag bill

 

PROPOSED REFERENDUM QUESTION:

To approve the changes to the Constitution proposed in the Constitution Amendment (National Language, Holiday and Flag) Constitutional Amendment Bill, to declare English to be the national language, 26 January in each year to be Australia Day and a certain flag to be the Australian National Flag.

Constitution Amendment (National Language, Holiday and Flag) Constitutional Amendment Bill

An Act to amend the Constitution to declare English to be the national language, 26 January in each year to be Australia Day and a certain flag to be the Australian National Flag.

1. The short title of this Act is the National Language, Holiday and Flag Act

2. The Constitution is amended by the insertion of section 127, 127A and 127B as set out below:

Section 127 - Status of English Language

English is the national language of Australia.

Section 127A - National Holiday

26 January in each year shall be Australia Day, being the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788.

Section 127B - Australian National Flag

A blue flag with the Union Jack occupying the upper hoist, a large white Commonwealth Star in the centre of the lower hoist and 5 white stars representing the Southern Cross constellation in the fly half. *

* Under the proposed legislative and constitutional refinements, it is envisaged that the Flags Act would remain on the statute books, to provide the construction sheet for the Australian National Flag which would be described in terms of its essential elements in the constitution, thereby settling the question of popular sovereignty in relation to the process for reviewing the design - in whole or in part - with a weighty body of legal opinion against the constitutionality of the current statutory rules in subsections 3(2) & (3), which provide for an instant-runoff for choosing between the existing flag and one or more alternatives, on the basis of universal suffrage. As the device occupying the lower hoist is simply referred to as a "large white Commonwealth Star", the number of points on what is a well recognised heraldic symbol in its own right could be varied by ordinary legislation, according to changes in membership of the Australian Federation, and not by a plebiscite as currently required, which would remove what has been criticised as an "anomalous and costly" impediment.