FABRIC OF FREEDOM
by D J Pinwill
THE AUSTRALIAN FLAG
What a great place to start!
The retention of our flag is part of the battle to maintain our Christian
heritage. It is part of the battle to heal our nation.
HOW IMPORTANT IS A FLAG?
There are many things that exist that are beyond value. What is the value of courage? Who can put a price upon honesty or mateship? A nation’s most priceless asset is probably the spirit of its people.
There is no doubting the depth and character of the Australian people. Aussies have been endowed with their own unique brand of national spirit - a spirit that pioneered this harsh but rewarding land, a spirit that called our young men to war in the defence of our freedom. This same spirit has welded our people together, and united us in times ofjoy and tragedy.
The spirit of a nation’s people is, indeed, a priceless asset. It is this national spirit that has been the building blocks of this country.
The English language is not adequate to the task of describing the intenseness of emotion or the personal commitment and sacrifice out of which has been borne our “national spirit”. It is in the attempt to convey this abstract, but nevertheless very real, concept that the use of symbols comes into its own. One simple symbol can speak volumes. A symbol can portray a message in a very personal way. in a manner that could never be done by any other form of communication. A nation’s flag, is therefore, the expression of the “national heart”. A heart is a vital organ of the human body a flag is the symbolic essence of that “national body”.
The job of a flag is to give a nation’s people a central rallying point. A flag keeps our national body healthy by reminding each individual of the sacifices of those gone before. A flag’s job is to instil pride - not a selfish pride, but a humble, thankful pride in our country and the blessings that it provides for us each day of our lives. A nation’s heart is its flag.
Those people who wish to change or do away with our flag are, in fact, proposing a heart-transplant for our nation. These people are motivated by shallow reasons, by reasons of political doctrine, political fashion. They say our flag no longer represents us. These people conclude that our past should be forgotten or replaced. The new flag exponents ignore the obvious disunity that any new flag will cause. Our nation will be divided over the issue, and we shall be a country with two flags. Our present flag is a flag of tradition. Any other flag will be a flag of fashion.
Many opinion polls, both recent and in years gone by. have plainly expressed our national opinion. A clear majority of Australians support and wish to retain our present flag. We may take comfort and hope from these figures. However, as to jy most of us support our flag is totally unclear.
We can safely say that some of us like the look of our flag - it is truly a beautiful emblem. Some of us are emotionally attached. Events such as service for our country during the crises of wartime may bind us to our flag. Perhaps we love our flag because we love our country. There are many and vaied reasons, and all of them are noble and genuine. But the question remains - how many of us have a total understanding of our Flag. its symbols, Its crosses, its stars and colours? In the days ahead
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It will require much more than an emotional, or instinctive, defence of the flag in order to keep it.
The attack upon our flag will be intense and unrelenting. Our present Prime Minister, Paul Keating, has declared war upon our flag. Many of the nation’s academics are joining Keating’s ranks and exerting their influence. The media will produce endless debates and endless articles that continue on and on until our ears are full and our senses deadened. The new flag exponents will tell us that a new flag is inevitable - that it is no use resisting - we may as well get it over with. Paul Keating is a master of this technique.
Bob Hawke is no longer prime minister as a result of this tactic. The issue of Keating being leader was presented again and again. Votes were taken which Hawke won. Still the issue did not go away. A.L.P. members were told that Keating as leader was inevitable. They were pestered and agitated to the point of desperation. Their defences weakened. For the sake of peace and party unity, Hawke support crumbled and Keating went in.
This is not a new tactic. Most two-year-olds are masters of it. How many mothers succumb to a spoilt child’s tantrums, for the sake of peace and family unity? The only way a mother can continue to refuse a spoilt child’s demands is to have a depth of conviction and understanding about the real situation that outweights her child’s emotions.
If we are to retain our flag, it will only happen because our determination to resist and our depth of understanding of the flag gives us enough courage and conviction to survive the onslaught. Our only true line of defence does not depend on an emotional or instinctive response, but on the conviction that
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comes from knowing the traditions and meanings of each square inch of our flag, why every thread is as it is, and further, we must comprehend the significance of these meanings in our lives today.
The purpose of this writing is to give as complete an understanding as possible of the history, heritage and symbolism of our flag. Of its Christian story as directly related to the Bible. How it signifies our government, our institutions, our democracy, our constitution and our freedom. Our best defence is to arm ourselves with this information. If we know exactly what we shall lose if we throw away our flag, then we shall be strengthened in our struggle to retain it.
Through the mists of time comes the legend of St. George. Do not be mistaken by thinking that St. George was a myth - a fairy tale. There is a large amount of evidence available about St. George, his life, his times and his dedicated Christian beliefs.
St. George was born around the second half of the third century at Lydda, in Palestine. His father was an officer of great wealth in the army of Diocletian, the Roman Emperor. His mother was daughter of the Count of Lydda. This Lydda is the same area that St. Peter himself visited, which resulted in the conversion to Christianity of the whole town. (Acts 9:32-35,)
The details of the soldier-martyr’s early life has come down to us in form of ENCONIUMS, especially ABBA THEODOTUS, as recorded in the Coptic texts and translated by Sir Wallis Budge. This early information tells us that St. George’s father, the Governor of Lydda, died when St. George was ten years old. The family was “exceedingly rich and well-known for the goodness of their deeds.” At the
death of his father a new governor was appointed, Justus. who adopted St. George in order to educate him in the military. When older, he was sent to the Emperor. Diocletian. who soon had St. George as a General over 5000 men. The text reads:
“When St. George had completed his b’entieth year he was exceeding strong and valiant in battle, and no one could be compared with him for strength and beauty, and God was with him in all his ways.”
St. George enjoyed the favour of Diocletian. And was promoted to Tribune of the Imperial Guard. (“Petits Bollandistes’ - a collection of biographies of the Saints.)
Constantine the Great, the Roman Emperor who put to an end the persecution of Christians, and brought Christ to his Empire. was roughly the same age as St. George. in fact. they were comrades-in-arms under Galerius in the Egyptian and Persian campaigns (Page 50, “George of Lydda “,
St. George, in the course of his military duties, was sent by Diocletian on an expedition to Britain. The tradition which associates St. George with Britain suggests that he sailed through the Irish Seas, subsequently known as “St. George’s Channel” to this day. While in Britain he visited his comrade-in-arms, Constantine. at York.. Constantius Chiorus, Constantine’s father. was at that time Emperor of York and his Empress was Helena, of which Melanchon states (Page 189, “Epistola”):
‘Helena was unquestionably a British Princess.”
This is the same “Helen of the Cross”. so-called because it was she that tradition says discovered the true cross of Christ’s crucifixion in 326 A.D. (Page 554. Ency. Britt. Vol 4.) Sozomen writes (400 A.D.):
“The Great Constantine received his Christian education in Britain.”
St. George’s visit was given a lasting commemoration, because over the gates of York hangs a shield blazoned with a red cross on a silver background - St. George’s sign.
The life of St. George changed dramatically when Diocletian issued an edict for the persecution of Christians. All Christian soldiers were required to take part in sacrificial rites. An edict was issued forbidding Christian assemblies; ordering the destruction of churches; burning of Scriptures, and depriving Christians of offices that they held (Page 22- 26, Kurtz: “Church History”).
St. George was stripped of his armour, military rank and worldly possessions. Given that his relationship with Diocletian had always been cordial, St. George decided to confer with the Emperor on behalf of the Christians (Page 70, E,P. Baker “Constantine the Great”). Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea (265-346 A.D.), states:
“The moment the decree against the churches was published a certain person, by no means obscure, but most highly honoured, moved by zeal towards God and carried away by his burning faith, seized and tore it to pieces in a public place, as an unholy and profane thing while two Emperors were present in the city, Diocletian, and he who held fourth place in the Government after him, Galerius. This man (St. George) was the first at that time who thus distinguished himself.” St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (374-397 A.D.) expresses the same incident:
“George, the most faithful soldier of Jesus Christ, when religion by others was concealed, alone adventured to confess the name of God.”
After this St. George suffered imprisonment and trials before pagan governors. Numerous forms of torture were employed to induce him to sacrifice to the Roman Gods. (Sir Wallis Budge “George of Lydda”, page 23.)
Bishop Theodotus of Ancyra. the ancient historian of around 450 A.D., has left us an account of these trials. St. George apparently declared before Galerius:
“I am a Christian. I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”
At one point Galerius brought St. George to his palace as a guest. hoping a friendly gesture would win him over to the pagan side. Galerius’s wife. Empress Alexandra, heard St. George reciting the 77th Psalm, and asked him what it was he was saving. St. George, in true missionary spirit, revealed the Scriptures and the gospel to her, which led to her conversion. When Galerius heard this he ordered Empress Alexandra to be imprisoned and tortured. The Empress, it is known. remained true, and died in her new-found faith. (Brit. Mus. Orient MS. No. 686, Fol. 177 C.1.)
It may have been this incident that gave rise to the legend of St. George slaying the dragon and rescuing the princess. The famous painting by Raphael depicts this scene. Gaierius was referred to as a “dragon” in the written account by Pastorates - St. George’s servant. Pastorates was a witness to St. George’s martyrdom. A translation of his interesting documents are in the British Museum. In the Svriac versions. Galerius is referred to as “the serpent
viper”, and as “0 foul and evil dragon “. In any case the dragon in Scripture is always Satan, or the evil one.
The legend is a vivid picture of a saint defeating evil and defending the purity of the princess. It signifies the ultimate victory of virtue over vice, and the fmal triumph of Christ.
All attempts to compel St. George were unsuccessful. Finally, Galerius wrote his sentence of death, saying:
“I give George, who bath put the decrees of the Governors behind his back, over to the sword. Know, 0ye peoples, that we are innocent of his blood this day” (British Museum)
St. George was beheaded in the year 304 A.D. His body was returned to Lydda, where his relatives built a mausoleum over his remains. This building was consecrated by Theodotus, Bishop of Jerusalem.
Since that time. St. George’s Day has been observed on April 23rd throughout the centuries.
In AD. 314, Constantine convened the Council of Aries. According to the Greek church, it was at this Council that the martyred George of Lydda was proposed by Constantine himself to be termed as “The Champion Knight of Christendom “.
The names of British signatories at this Council are Eborius (Bishop of York), Restitus (Bishop of London), and Adelphus (Bishop of Caerleon-on-Usk).
Constantine fought his battles in the name of the Christian God. He had his troops paint the Christian monogram on their shields, Constantine says that he had a vision of a Christian sign that
appeared in the sky with the words “In this sign Conquer!” (Ency.Brit. 15th Edition, Vol 5, page 72).
Constantine had the sacred standard of Roman power - the Labamm - emblazoned with a figure of the cross. The alpha and omega letters in Greek were placed on either side of it. Constantine used the Christian cross as a sign of victory.
Within ten years of the accession of Constantine. Christianity became the prevailing re1igion and with it came the prominence of the red cross (Elder, “George of Lydda” page 55). Constantine is known to have dedicated twenty- one churches to the honour of St. George.
As well as Constantine and St. George being connected vbith Britain and. therefore. the red cross. there are other documents that suggest further evidence. John Hardvnge (1378-1405), who wrote “Chronicles of England” suggests that when Joseph of Arimathea visited England. he converted King Arviragus to Christianity. and cave him a shield of silver-white with a red cross. for a coat of arms. Joseph of Arimathea was the rich merchant in whose tomb Christ’s body was laid. It was Joseph who collected Christ’s body from the Romans. Joseph did visit England (Ency.Britt. 15th Edition. Vol.V. pafle 012). and he is still patron saint of Glastonburv in Somerset.
Further to thIs, William the Conqueror flew the standard of the red cross of St. George from the masthead as he approached the British lsles and fought under it at the Battle of Hastings.
The Baveaux Tapestry shows a banner with a red cross being received b William from Bishop Odo. St George is no doubt a worthy Patron Saint of England. A true hero, with the virtues of courage,
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determination and Christian commitment. His sign of the red cross on the white background has always stood for the so! diers of Christ and the victory of Christianity.
The cross itself is entwined with the history of England from the time of Joseph of Arimathea, before St. George, and then on to William the Conqueror. How can any other symbol say so much on our flag? The values it stood for almost 2000 years ago are still relevant today.
Richard I used the red cross during the crusades. He also built a church on the site of St. George’s burial place in Lydda.
Edward III made St. George the Patron Saint of England, and established his “Order of St. George and the Garter” in 1348.
The St. George Cross is a bravery award second only to the Victoria Cross.
Although this history pre-dates white settlement in Australia, it was these same values, beliefs and principles that gave us the spirit and courage to build this country.
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St ANDREW CROSS
The national religious emblem of Scotland is St. Andrews cross. He is the Patron Saint of Scotland and, according to the gospel of St. John, was a brother to St. Peter, and is the first apostle named. The gospel further states that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist before Christ’s call.
The section on St. Andrew in the Encyclopaedia Brittanica (Vol.!, page 360) records:
“A fourth century account reports his death by crucifixion, and late niediaeval literature describes the shape of his cross as diagonal. He is represented by an X-shaped cross (ie. the Scottish flag). Since the fourth century his feast day has been November 30th”.
The date of his death has been given as between 60-70 A.D., at Petros on the Gulf of Corinth, Greece. Tradition relates that St. Andrew considered himself unworthy to be crucified on a cross the same shape as that on which his Saviour suffered. Because of this, he was crucified on the Xshaped cross.
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In the book “These Are Ancient Things” by Corn. L. G.A. Roberts, it states:
“Relics of St. Andrew were brought to Fifeshire, Scotland, in 370 A.D., where a church still called St. Andrews was erected in his memory.”
There is one further historical document that is worthy of mention with regard to St Andrew’s connection with Scotland. That is ‘The Scottish Declaration of Independence. “This document lies in the RegisliyHouseinEdiriburgh. It is dated the 26th April. 1320.
After the battle of Bannockbum in 1314, the Pope, John XXII, refused to acknowledge the Bruce as King of Scotland. The Pope sent emissaries to the Bruce to secure his submission to the English King. These Papal messengers were not received by the Bruce. He would not even open their letters. Instead he summoned the Scottish nobles of the day. The following is a quote from this document:
“The King of Kings, and our Lord Jesus Christ, after his passion and resurrection, called these very men (the Scottish) dwelling at the limit of the world, almost the first to his most holy faith, nor would have them confirmed therein through any but the first of his apostles by calling, albeit in rank, second or third, to wit Andrew the Meek, brother of Blessed Peter, whom he chose to be ever more their leader and patron. The holy fathers, your predecessors, mindful and careful hereof, fortified the same kingdom and people, as the peculiar possession of St. Peter’s brother.”
This document from the past says quite distinctly that it was St. Andrew himself who converted the Scots to Christ, and bear in mind that
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this is not the opinion of some individual historians, but of the King of Scotland, and his Parliament. One can only conclude that St. Andrew himself was a visitor to Scotland.
Once again, our Australian flag serves as a reminder of sacrifice and Christian traditions.
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ST. PATRICK CROSS
St. Patrick is the PatronSaint and national apostle of Ireland. There seems to be some confusion as to his exact date and place of birth. This is probably brought about by the fact that St. Patrick is often mistaken for other characters of the same name in the same era. The most common evidence is that he was born in Dumbarton, Scotland, sometime around the year 373 A.D.
Patrick’s story is found in Encyclopaedia Brittanica (Vol. 13, Page 1076):
“Patrick’s father was Calpurnius, who was a deacon and local official. At the age of 16 Patrick was torn from the villa of his father by Irish raiders, and carried into slavery in Ireland.
Here he spent six years as a herdsman, and it was during this time that he turned with fervour to the Lord. Hearing at last in a dream that the ship in which he was to escape was ready, he fled his master and found passage to Britain. There he came near to starvation, and
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suffered a second brief captivity before he was reunited with his family.
In a well-known passage of “onfessio”, which is St. Patrick’s own writings, he tells us of a dream after his return to Britain in which one, Victorious, delivered him a letter, headed “The Voice of the Irish “. As he read it, he seemed to hear a certain company of irish beseeching him to walk once more among them:
“Deeply moved,” he says, “I could read no more.”
Nevertheless, because of the shortcomings of his education, he was reluctant for a long time to respond to the call. Vhile recovering from his ordeals, he was ordained to the priesthood. Patrick’s mission to Ireland began in 432 A.D. at Saul.
Even on the eve of re-embarkation for Ireland, he was beset by doubts about his fitness for the task. Once in the field, however, his hesitations vanished. Utterly confident in the Lord, he journeyed far and wide, baptising and confirming sith untiring zeal. On at least one occasion he was cast into chains. He was a most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous hymn of thanks to his Maker for haing chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes had become the people of God.” (end of Enc.Brit. quote.)
The phenomenal success of Patrick’s mission is not, however, the full measure of his personality. His writings mirror a truth and simplicity of the rarest quality. No diarist has ever bared his soul to the same degree as did the Patron Saint of Ireland. The moral and spiritual greamess of the man shines through every stumbling sentence of his “rustic”
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Latin. By the end of the 7th Century. Patrick had become a legendary figure.
One of these legends has it that he drove the snakes out of Ireland — another example of a Christian saint doing battle th the serpent, or dragon. There is the story of the shamrock, which he used to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity — Three Persons in One, or three leaves on one stalk. Today the Irish wear shamrocks on the lapels on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th.
In County Tipperary are the remains of St. Patrick’s
Cathedral, and Celtic crosses on top of the Rock of Cashel.
St. Patrick visited Cashel in 450 AD., and baptised King
Aenghus and made Cashel into a Bishopric.
In his own writings. St. Patrick never claimed that he converted all of Ireland by himself Irish traditions refer to early saints who preceded St. Patrick. One of these traditions is that the prophet Jeremiah (the Old Testament prophet) came to Ireland after Jerusalem fell, via Egypt. There is evidence of this on Lock Erne. Here, on Devenish Island. not far from Enniskillen, is a cairn of stone known as “Jeremiah’s tomb “. It has been called such for as long as can be remembered. The locals in this area believe the report to be true. Perhaps this explains why Jeremiah is such a popular Irish name.
The four law courts in Dublin, which were built in 1785-1800, contained a central hall with a dome 674 feet in diameter. Above the windows there were medallions of lawgivers, and around the portrait of one the lawgivers was inscribed “Ollamh Fodh1a” which means “Holy Seer”, or “Prophet” This was the name given to Jeremiah the prophet. The name
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“Ollamh Fodhia” is well-known for “Jeremiah” in Irish history and records.
Just how St. Patrick came by the cross of St. Patrick is not clear. This cross was the heraldic device of a Norman Baron, Maurice Fitzgerald, who came to Ireland in 1169 on the invitation of Dermot McMurrough, King of Leinster. Perhaps it was because of the prestige of this historic Irish house that their cross became associated with all things Irish, including St. Patrick.
The exact date of St. Patrick’s death is open to question, but sometime between 460 and 490 A.D. are the accepted times. His remains lie under a rock at the Cathedral of Downpatrick in County Down. His drinking well and bath house are also preserved, (Ency.Britt, Vol.3, Page 647). He was not martyred.
The knighthood known as the “Order of Saint Patrick” was introduced by George III in 1783.
So many Australians have some of their family roots connected to Ireland that the cross of St. Patrick is by no means out of place. There is no doubt that Ireland, and therefore Australia, owe many of their blessings to the Christian work of St. Patrick.
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THE UNION JACK AND FREEDOM
“He that is greatest among you shall be your servant” - Matthew 23:11
These simple words of Christ contain the foundations upon which our freedom in Australia has been based. The idea of a king, president, dictator or prime minister being in a position of leadership in order to serve ordinary people instead of his own “will-to-power” was a revolutionary one at the time of Christ, and still is, Christ demonstrated exactly what He meant by this, when He performed the menial task of washing His disciples’ feet. The history and development of our monarchy, our parliaments and our constitution is the story of the struggle to implement these words of Christ.
These simple words not only state that our masters are to serve us, not us them, but it further implies that in order to bring about this situation there must be limits and laws, that place bounds upon our masters. Christ gave other indications that our
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leaders must act within certain rules. His answer to the trick question put to Him by the Pharisees. — “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:17) is further evidence. Christ was saying that our rulers do not have a monopoly over certain things and that individuals should have the God-given right to certain freedoms that are above even Caesar. Once again, we see a limit to the power of Caesar, or the State.
The first law of the ten commandments actually defines one of the limits:
“Love God with all your heart and mind” is clearly saying that an individual must have the freedom to do this in spite of any decrees proclaimed by some despot who orders him to worship otherwise. St. George died for this exact freedom. Christ further said:
“The truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). Christ was the truth incarnate, so any attempt to acquire freedom must make that first step of accepting Christ and the truth that He spoke.
The human effort to freedom began with the acceptance of Christianity. If we know our history we can follow these events. The acceptance by the British nation of the gospel was a major event in the birth of democracy and individual rights. The ramifications of these events has flowed on to Australia to this present day.
Even before the time of Augustine’s work in Britain. around 600 A.D., the groundwork had started. By the time of King Alfred the Great we have the record of his “dooms”, which are a direct translation of the ten commandments. These “dooms “or codes became the law of the land.
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Then, in the year 1215, we had that gigantic step forward for civilization when King John was forced to sign “Magna Carla “.
The people of the day at last had a legal document that put legal restraints upon their monarch. This was a limiting of the king’s power, and a transfer of that power to other authorities. Christ’s words on getting our masters to serve us was beginning to set us free.
As the centuries passed by, we saw more restraints on the king. and further widening of authority of people power. These new freedoms led Britain to develop the world’s first parliament in 1265. Kings were controlled by parliaments, parliaments by law, and by the freedom of an individual’s right to vote.
Our present system of government is the result of 2000 years of effort and trial. Wherever Christianity flourished., so did freedom. One followed the other. There is no doubt that the British system that developed has been a light unto the world.
It is this history, these Christian truths, and this idea of limiting power with checks and balances, that has become our heritage in Australia. It all started with the adoption of the cross, the same crosses that make up the Union Jack.. The Christian symbol of the Union Jack has captured the essence of our freedom.
Is it any wonder that those people and governments who despise Christianity, and still lust after their own will-topower, wish to abandon our flag, with this symbol on it? We may rest assured that as Christianity has given us our freedom. so a rejection of Christianity will also surely bring about a loss of freedom.
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Australia today is still a Christian country Hard evidence of this fact is that around ii or 12 million people list their religion as some form of Christianity at census time. Our constitution, which is the basic rule book under which our politicians. parliaments and justice systems operate, is a Christian document, The very first words of our Constitution are;
“We, the people, humbly relying on the blessings of Almighty etc.
The laws of our Constitution have set in place certain conditions that guarantee a limiting of our leaders’ power. The right to vote is a means whereby we can demand that these leaders serve us.
At the head of all this we have the Queen. Through her agent, the Governor-General, we have an unbiased umpire to settle disputes from time to time. The sacking of the Whitlam government saw these royal powers in action, This resulted in the whole question being put back to the people. Another country with another system might have had a civil war over this.
It is interesting to note that the British system has never produced a Hitler, or a Stalin, or a Napoleon. They came out of republics. Even though the umpire does not participate in the game or make the rules, he has the authority to force the players to stick to the rules.
Put simply, this is the value of a monarch. Here is someone that the people can appeal to directly.
A monarch is born into power - not like our politicians who often corrupt themselves and their country in order to gain power. Winston Churchill put it in a nutshell:
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“The sovereign’s reserve power is the only protection for the people against the infinite audacity of elected persons.”
A good monarch also has the added advantage of moral authority — a blessing in a time of crisis. Australia is especially lucky because our Queen, Queen Elizabeth, is a direct descendant of King David of biblical times. This can be seen on any genealogy chart of the Queen. Further evidence of this is King David’s harp in the lower left-hand corner of the royal standard, along with the lions of the Israelite tribe of Judah, plus the red, rampant lion of Zara-Judah:
We have already seen our national anthem changed from being a prayer to God (“God Save
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Our Gracious Queen”) to a purely nationalistic song about advancing Australia. Our new anthem makes no mention of our reliance upon God.
What our leaders wanted most of all was to do away with any mention of our Christian heritage. They cared not what our new anthem was, as long as it was not Christian.
The same reasoning applies to the cry to abandon our flag. All the anti-flag arguments centre around the Union Jack. They dont particularly care what our new flag is, as long as it does not have those Christian crosses on it. Once again. Caesar is trying to usurp something that belongs to God, and the individual. They know that the Union Jack stands for the principle of limiting power, so in this age of centralised, big government, it simply has to go, along with other checks and balances such as the Senate.
The beautiful thing about the Union Jack is that it represents all Australians. Not just those of British descent, but every Australian, whether he is Asian, Aboriginal, Italian, Greek etc., because the Union Jack is the symbol of where our freedom comes from, and how our freedom is preserved through our parliaments and laws.
Every person living in this lucky colrntiy has inherited and benefited from the b1essin that stem from the Christian ideals behind the Union Jk irrespective ofhat their personal religion might be.
At the present time in Australia. it would serve us well to remember the struggles of our forefathers. We are today witnessing the corruption of politicians and public servants, the despotism of executive government the stealing of power by the party system, and the abandoning of our Constitution. All
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this without the owners of Australia — us — being consulted. Caesar is demanding once again that we render unto him and his all-powerful state, those freedoms that rightfully belong to God and the individual.
If the Union Jack is removed from our flag. then 2000 years of battling for liberty and enlightenment will be reversed, and we will no doubt be one step closer to sinking into the pit of ungodly darkness.
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THE FLAG’S POETIC GENIUS
We have now studied the background and history of each of the three crosses on our flag, and have some understanding of their deep symbolism. However, when the same three crosses are combined to form the Union Jack, there is a whole new dimension added that is nothing short of amazing.
For a start, that name - “Union Jack”. Where did it come from, and who was “Jack”? In A.D. 1194, Richard I of England introduced the cross of St. George as the standard of England. In 1603 King James VI of Scotland became James I of England, as a result of which the Union Jack was formed in 1606 by the addition of the cross of St. Andrew, which formed the blue background of the new flag. In 1801 the addition of the cross of St. Patrick was sandwiched in between the flags of Scotland and England to form the familiar Union Jack.
The name “Union Jack” came from King James, whose name in Latin is “Jacobus”, and in Hebrew, “Jacob “. If the last letters of these names are dropped, we end up with the “Union Jac”. Thus the formation of the Union Jack came about as the result of the progressive merging of the inhabitants of the British Isles under one throne, that throne being in direct line from the throne of David, as stated earlier.
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This King James is the same person who gave us the “King James” version of the bible. King James claimed that the Lord had made him “King over Israel”, and upon the gold coin of the day - the “Jacobus” - he had inscribed in Latin the prophecy of Ezekiel 37:22
“I will make of thee one nation.”
With the joining of the crosses, we have the three colours of red, white and blue. All three colours have a histoiy and a purpose.
If we take blue first, we find that in Numbers 15:38- 41, God instructed his people to use the colour blue to remind them throughout all their generations of His commandments. Blue was also used extensively in the tabernacle for the sacred vessels (Numbers chapter 4). Solomon used blue in his temple for the veil (2 Chronicles 3:14). In bible history, blue has always been a special colour associated with holiness and royalty. Even today we call one of our colours “royal blue” If someone is a faithful person we say he is “true blue”. If a person is genuine we say he’s “blue blooded”. How appropriate this particular colour is on our flag.
White is traditionally the colour of purity and righteousness. In Revelations 19 we read that the army of saints are dressed in white linen and riding upon white horses. One of the conventions of our marriage ceremony today is the bride dressed in white, to indicate purity. Having white on our flag is a reminder of Christ’s purity and innocence.
Let’s now look at red — or scarlet, which is a vivid colour of red. Blood is the colour red, and at the Passover it was the red blood of the lamb that redeemed the Israelites. In the New Testament it
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was the red blood of the Lamb, Jesus, who was sacrificed to redeem us. In Isaiah 118, God says,
“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow.”
Is it any wonder that the sinful and godless communist nations had red as their national colo? We even call them “the Reds”. The red cross of St George signifies a blood covenant It signifies the red blood of Christ washing away our scarlet sins. Red, theretbre, indicates either blood or sin. Whereas the saints are dressed in white and riding white horses, the harlot of Bab’lon is upon a scarlet beast, and arrayed in scarlet (Rev. 17). Whatacontrast
The actual arrangement of the crosses of the Union Jack is also full of meaning. If we look at the crosses in the order in which they form the union - Scotland, Ireland and England - then the three flags symbolise the three covenants in the sequence God made them.
The first covenant was with Abraham, and was an everlasting and unconditional promise. In Genesis 17:7, God says, when speaking to Abraham:
“I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and thy seed after thee.”
One of the promises to Abraham was that his seed would be multiplied as the stars in heaven (Genesis 22: 17). What a coincidence that this first cross of St. Andrew is, in fact the sign for multiplication in mathematics! A further coincidence is that when Jacob was blessing Joseph’s sons. Manasseh and Ephraim. he formed a diagonal cross with his arms
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as he placed his hands upon their heads (Genesis 48:13-22).
When the flag of St. Patrick was added in 1801 to form the Union, it was broken in the middle in order to leave a white border showing between the red cross and the blue background. If you look closely at the red diagonal cross on the Union Jack, you will notice that the four arms do not, in fact, line up with each other. This means that the red cross is broken at its intersection, but you cannot actually see this, as it is covered by the broad cross of St. George. This broken cross signifies the second covenant made by God with the Israelites during the exodus, which was broken because of their continual sinfulness. This Mosaic covenant (Exodus Ch. 19) was shown by the word jf%, Israel did not obey, so the conditional covenant was broken, as the cross indicates. This cross is red, as it typifies the blood of the sacrificial animals,
The third cross is the cross of St. George. It is the very shape of the cross of Calvary, showing that it does represent the new covenant of forgiveness of transgressions. It is a red cross, signi1’ing once again a blood covenant. At the last supper, Christ said:
“This cup is the blood of the New Covenant shed for the remission of sins.”
With this cross being placed over the broken cross, we can see that the Mosaic covenant is done away th. How well the completed Union Jack demonstrates that ChnsCs blood blotted out our sins.
To add another incredible coincidence to this situation, we have the fact that the New Testament was originally written in Greek, and according to
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Strong’s Concordance the base meaning of the word “cross” in Greek is “covenant”. The shape of the St. George cross is also the sign of addition in mathematics. it therefore complements and reaffirms God’s everlasting promise to Abraham to multiply and increase his seed.
Is it really a coincidence that these three crosses symbolise the three covenants’ Some may argue that it is merely coincidence, but for anyone who takes this stand. they must also explain why it is that the word “British” means “Covenant Man” in Hebrew. The word for “Covenant” is “Berith” or “B’rith” and the word for “Man” is “Ish”. It cannot be just chance when a people calling themselves “Covenant man” have the covenants on their flag. (Hebrew translations from Strong’s Concordance)
The web of intricate and amazing coincidences continues. If we go back into ancient archaeology and delve into the origins of the alphabet and writing, another piece of the jigsaw falls into place. As far back as 1800 B.C., the archaic Sumerian people were using a certain symbol on the inscriptions. We find that the symbol that meant God was the crossed crosses. The Babylonians of 1800 B.C. also used a form of the crossed crosses for God in their stone tablets. A copy of these ancient alphabets can be found in “A’Iissing Links Discovered in Assvrian Tablets “by E. Raymond Capt (page 24). Capt is a practising archaeologist, and holds a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Archaeolog . a Doctorate of Literature, and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. This book also speaks of Cadmus. There is a section on Cadmus in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol. ii.. page 430, 1st Edition). This Cadmus
was the son of Phoenix, who was the King of Phoenicia: “According to tradition Cadmus brought the alphabet to Greece and the Greek alphabet is in fact, derived from the Phoenician script.”
This happened around 1490 B.C. Cadmus built the Cadmea or citadel of Thebes. Another interesting sidelight is a photograph of a kylix (drinking vessel) in the Louvre in Paris. on which is a detailed figure of Cadmus slaying a dragon or serpent. In fact the legend says Cadmus was sent to rescue his sister Europa. Almost a parallel to the St. George saga.
The alphabet which Cadmus introduced into Greece had 16 letters. In Houghton Spencer’s book “The Origin of the Letters of the Alphabet and the Numerals” there is a copy of this alphabet. The first letter, “alpha”, is )K and the last letter “Tau “is +. As you can see, if we place one upon the other, we end up with * which is the same form of the crossed crosses as the Union Jack.
In modern Christian churches we often see the Alpha and Omega signs from the Greek alphabet, a n d 2
These two letters form the New Testament monogram for Christ’s name. Christ said:
“1 am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Revelation 22:13).
In the Old Testament God says:
“I the Lord, the first and the last” (Isaiah 41:4) and again: “1 am the first, I also am the last (Isaiah 48:12). So what we have in the crossed crosses of the Union Jack, or the Cadmean alphabet, is the Old Testament monogram of God’s name. These letters are used as the all-encompassing first and last.
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beginning and end, in the same way our churches today use the Greek alphabet alpha and omega. The magic and poetry of the symbolism of the Union Jack is a miracle in itself What an honour to have this holy sign on our Australian flag! The divine character of writing goes back to archaic times. The Encyclopaedia Brittanica Vol. 19, page 1042) says: “Everywhere in the East as well as the Vest, the origin of writing is ascribed to a divinity. Among the Babylonians, Egyptians, Chinese and Hindus, the Hebrews had their old “divine” writing beside the later human writing. In Islamic tradition, God himself created writing. Page 643, Vol 10, says ‘The Arabs had a traditional account of their script together with their language itself being given to Adam by God’.”
Given this ancient belief in the divinity of writing, it would have been only logical to take the next step of utilising the alphabet’s first and last letters as a signature or monogram for the name, or word. for God. This is further evidence that the first and last letters of the “divine” Hebrew writing )K and + when combined is in fact God’s signature. Note: Some
authorities maintain the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet was “X’, e.g. W.H. Bennett in “Sign in the Heavens” and L.G. Roberts (page 29) of “These are Ancient Things’ In any case, it does not alter the final design when one is placed upon the other.
Until now, we have dealt strictly with history and facts that can be verified. However, there is one possibility that deserves mention even though it cannot be proven.
We know that when Christ was horn, a sign appeared in the sky - the Star of Bethlehem or, as
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we sometimes call it, the Christmas Star. We also know that when Christ returns the first definite sign will be as described in Matthew 24:30:
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory.”
The word translated as “appear” in this quote has the meaning of “shine (Strong ‘s Concordance). Therefore, the sign referred to shall appear shining in the sky in the same way, perhaps as the Star of Bethlehem.
Is it possible that the shining sign that heralded Christ’s first coming will also be the sign that heralds his return? The accepted sign for Christ and his church is the cross. Why is it that when artists depict the Star of Bethlehem, they often use an illuminated or shining cross? The Christmas 1957 Australian stamp does this, and again in 1963 the Christmas stamp is most interesting. Not only is the Christmas Star a shining cross, but it is in fact the shining crossed crosses of the ancient monogram for God. That is the )K and the + of the Cadmean aphabet - the illuminated design of the Union Jack. Is it possible that these Christian crosses used in our Australian flag will be the same sign that shines in the sky above us to herald our Sayiour’s return? What a possibility! What a flag?
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All this intricate information is fitted together like some deliberate and yet delicate jigsaw. that forms a picture of poetic genius.
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OUR OWN FLAG
Our flag came into existence at the birth of Federation in 1901. When the states of Australia decided to become a new nation, as a Commonwealth, a new flag was needed. The separate states already had flags of their own, and it pays to remember that these flags had the Union Jack on them. Choosing a national flag is never an easy job, so the new Commonwealth government decided to have a public competition on 28th April, 1901. This seemed the fairest way to give as many people as possible the opportunity to participate in the flag design.
The response from the public was overwhelming. There were 32,800 entries, which is a great effort considering, at the time, there were only around 3 million Australians in total. There were seven judges who were all eminent Australians. Among them was a heraldry adviser, one member of Parliament, a journalist from the “Melbourne Herald”, and representatives from the army, navy, mercantile marine and pilot sew- ices. The entries were publicly displayed, and the judges were allowed to decide their own criteria on which to make their choice.
On the 3rd September, 1901, the Exhibition Building in Melbourne was used to display the flag entries. Finally, the winning entry (of five similar ones) was by Ivor Evans. This flag was hoisted from the dome of the Exhibition Building in the presence of Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton, and the fe of Australia’s first Governor General,
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Lady Hopetoun. Our new flag first flew officially at the opening of the Townsville Hall.
The young Australian nation had a flag of their own from this time forward.
Some flag critics contend that the poem “Our O-ivn Flag” by Banjo Patterson was written to encourage us today to come up with a new flag. However, this particular poem was written before Federation. He was later to become a keen supporter of our present flag.
The design of the flag chosen has proven to be correct and popular. The choice of the Union Jack was appropriate, as the states already had it on their individual flags. It also indicated our history and heritage, as already stated.
The Federation Star has a point for each State. and the territories of Australia, showing that the political power in our Commonwealth is divided equally among the states, as well as the Commonwealth.
The Southern Cross on the fly of our flag indicates the global position of our country. The three Christian crosses are complemented by the addition of Australia’s own cross - the shining Southern Cross of our night sky.
Flag critics say that the Aboriginals, as the first Australians, are not represented by our flag, but they forget the legends these people had regarding the Southern Cross, so it does speak of them in a beautiful way.
Perhaps it is just one more of those recurring coincidences, but all the stars on the Australian flag have seven points, except for the small star in the Southern Cross. The Encv. Brit. Lists 52 flags that use stars but only two, including Australia. have
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seven points, in Christian numerology. seven is the perfect number God’s number.
The idea that we must have a new flag in order to proclaim our true identity is a false one. Any identity crises that may exist with some individuals is a result of a dismal lack of comprehension of our flag’s symbolism. The identity crises theory is no more than a convenient smoke screen put forward by those whose real purpose is the rejection of all things Christian or British.
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WHO’S “FOR” THE FLAG?
Calvin Coolidge, thirtieth president of the United States, said:
“The foundation of society rests so much on the teachings of the Bible.”
While he was directly speaking about the American system, it applies equally to Australia.
The information put forward is not intended to be any kind of sermon. However, it is impossible to discuss the flag in depth without some background in Christian history.
The cornerstone of Australia’s heritage is the bible and Christian principles. The symbol of this heritage is our flag. One could spend a great deal of time and space to refute all the arguments put forward by those who wish to do away with, or change, our flag. Once a person has a depth of understanding of what our flag stands for, how it came to us, the values that it represents and how these values can lead us into the future, then all those fashionable arguments by republicans, anti-royalists and anti-Christians simply pale into insignificance. The effect of their arguments is about as telling as an argument against “fresh air”. The fabric of our country is so interwoven with the values represented by our national banner, that to do away with it is akin to doing away with “fresh air”!
There is no reason to deal with each point put forward against our flag. The bottom line is not what we are “against”, but what we and our country are ‘for”. If we have respect for the centuries of
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Struggles by people and nations that developed our governmental systems, if we are for the teachings and moral values of Christianity, if we are for the limiting of “Caesar’s” political power, if we are for implementation of Christ’s doctrines of truth and freedom, and if we are for those traditions that made us a lucky country being carried on into the future, then we have no choice but to be for our flag. Doing away with our Christian crosses is equivalent to abandoning our precious birthright of freedom for ourselves and our children. A rejection of the Union Jack amounts to a rejection of God’s name - the Alpha and Omega.
There is no doubt that in spite of the proven track record of these values, there will be people who despise them. Some people will prefer to place their faith in their own doubtful abilities and to follow “the traditions of men” instead. These people invariably contend that if only we little people would do as we are told, then things would be fine. This is the exact doctrine that our flag stands against. Our flag stands for personal liberty, as opposed to centralised ultimatums.
There has been much talk of late about Australia being the “clever country”. If we are to be clever and wise then it may pay us to find out where wisdom comes from. Once again, the answer is in that book which is our cornerstone:
“Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Psalm 111:10)
The word “fear” in this instance does not mean “to be afraid:, but to “have reverence” (Strong’s Concordance).
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If our leaders want Australia to be a clever country, then their first step is to start showing a little respect of God’s laws and the rules themselves.The problems that confront this nation are enormous. Trouble with the economy, moral decay at all levels of society, tremendous unemployment and de struction of our environment, to name just a few. It is essential that all of us do some soul-searching to come up with answers. The logical step is to study the past, and rediscover what gave us our good fortune to begin with.Any farmer knows that if he wishes to get good results from a certain paddock - what has worked in the past, and what has not. This is how he comes to decisions about what he should do in the present and the future. It is all so obvious. However, if we wish to look at our Christian history, handed down to us by Britain. then the cry goes up that we are Pomm puppets “, and regressing. But we must return to the proven basics if we are to have any chance of survival. Perhaps the single biggest problem with this country - indeed the whole western world - is the lack of spirit. The birth of liberty had its roots not in material things, but in the idea that certain principles are absolutely true. eg. honesty and moral responsibility. A tree is not free to grow into a tree until its roots are firmly anchored into the coil. Society cannot be free unless its roots are an chored into a code of conduct based upon some absolutes. Take the soil away from a tree and it collapses and dies. Any Society without a code of ethics will likewise collapse and die.
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The Australian Flag is in itself an outstanding symbol of some basic ethics and roots of our nation. No other symbol can replace it, or accomplish the same purpose. The rejection of our flag is one more root being severed on the tree of Christian ideals and absolutes that built this nation. Forcing another flag upon us will cause division among Australians, because many of us will hold the current flag as our true banner. We will be a nation with two flags. A flag should create unity, not division.
Sadly, we as people do not always get the chance to voice opinions on issues like the flag. The Caesars of 1992 are almost a law unto themselves. However, there are actions that each individual can take that will help save the flag and the principles that it stands for.
This quote tells us the first action that we, as individuals can take:
“If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will HEAL THEIR LAND.” (2 Chronicles, 7:14).
What a great place to start! The retention of our flag is part of the battle to maintain our Christian heritage. It is part of the battle to heal our nation.
If we are to win this battle, it will require each person to do his part in gaining a depth of understanding of the principles, traditions and history that is contained in our flag.
Take courage. because we are not on our own!
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