Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (13:13): I also support this bill and was not intending to add to the very fine contributions by the minister moving it and by Senator Smith, but Senator Milne's comment about the flag has encouraged me to make a small contribution in the form of a poem:
Our flag bears the stars that blaze at night,
In our southern sky of blue,
And a little old flag in the corner
That's part of our heritage too.
It's for the English, the Scots and the Irish
Who were sent to the ends of the earth,
The rogues and schemers, the doers and dreamers
Who gave modern Australia birth.
And you, who are shouting to change it,
You don't seem to understand,
It's the flag of our law and our language
Not the flag of a faraway land.
(Though there are plenty of people who'll tell you,
How when Europe was plunged into night,
That little old flag in the corner
Was their symbol of freedom and light.)
It doesn't mean we owe allegiance
To a forgotten imperial dream;
We've the stars to show where we're going.
And the old flag to show where we've been.