Government Seeks Feedback on Flag Retirement Protocols

People have until the end of February to provide feedback or suggestions to the Australian Government on the best and most appropriate way for Australians to retire used, damaged and worn out Australian National Flags.

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister Senator the Hon. James McGrath said existing protocols did not include specific guidelines on how to retire a damaged or dilapidated flag with appropriate dignity and respect.

“Our National Flag is a symbol of great importance to all Australians, so it seems fitting that people have the opportunity to reflect on the significance of our flag in a meaningful way at the end of its service also,” Senator McGrath said.

Senator McGrath said a Flag Retirement Protocol Consultation Paper was available online and encouraged members of the community to take a look and provide feedback and ideas.

“In particular, we are interested the community views on a proposed flag retirement ceremony. We believe this may be a good option for schools, clubs, or organisations looking for a sense of formality around flag retirement,” he said.

“A suggested order of ceremony for such an event outlined in the consultation paper includes:

  • Introduction/Welcome by MC
  • Acknowledgement of Country
  • Comments regarding the history and symbolism of the Australian National Flag (flag to be retired brought to be displayed to those in attendance)
  • Comments regarding retired flag’s history (where flown, how long, memorable events in that time)
  • Speech about retirement of flag (Short Silence while flag is retired)* Australian National Anthem is played
  • Closing Remarks

Senator McGrath said the Government had already received valuable feedback from key stakeholders on the Flag Retirement Protocol Consultation Paper and encouraged all interested community members to also put forward their ideas.

For a copy of the Australian Government’s Flag Retirement Protocol Consultation Paper please visit: www.dpmc.gov.au/flagSubmissions are due by COB Tuesday 28 February 2017.