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High-profile columnist Peter FitzSimons wants to rip the Union Jack from the Australian flag if the nation becomes a republic.

The former Wallaby and husband of TV host Lisa Wilkinson shared a redesign of the nation’s flag featuring the Southern Cross with the Aboriginal flag inset in the corner on Tuesday.

The post on Twitter, with the heavily pixellated design, included the caption: ‘This would at least be a step in the right direction.’

The flag sparked debate on social media, with many wanting a new design – but not that one.

Former Wallaby star Peter FitzSimons (pictured with wife Lisa Wilkinson) wants to rip the Union Jack from the Australian flag if the nation becomes a republic - and could replace it with the Aboriginal flag

Former Wallaby star Peter FitzSimons (pictured with wife Lisa Wilkinson) wants to rip the Union Jack from the Australian flag if the nation becomes a republic - and could replace it with the Aboriginal flag

Former Wallaby star Peter FitzSimons (pictured with wife Lisa Wilkinson) wants to rip the Union Jack from the Australian flag if the nation becomes a republic – and could replace it with the Aboriginal flag

The writer shared a redesign of the nation's flag featuring the Southern Cross with the Aboriginal flag inset in the corner (pictured)

The writer shared a redesign of the nation's flag featuring the Southern Cross with the Aboriginal flag inset in the corner (pictured)

The writer shared a redesign of the nation’s flag featuring the Southern Cross with the Aboriginal flag inset in the corner (pictured)

‘Honestly it would feel more than a bit disrespectful to fly the Aboriginal flag to represent our nation as a whole,’ said one.

Another added: ‘Unfortunately it’s hideously ugly. Steak and ice cream.’

One sharp-eyed movie fan pointed out that Sam Neill had worn the same design on his arm in the 1997 movie Event Horizon.

One sharp-eyed movie fan pointed out that Sam Neill had worn the same design on his arm in the 1997 movie Event Horizon

One sharp-eyed movie fan pointed out that Sam Neill had worn the same design on his arm in the 1997 movie Event Horizon

One sharp-eyed movie fan pointed out that Sam Neill had worn the same design on his arm in the 1997 movie Event Horizon

The flag design sparked debate on social media (pictured), with many wanting a new design - but not the one FitzSimons posted

The flag design sparked debate on social media (pictured), with many wanting a new design - but not the one FitzSimons posted

The flag design sparked debate on social media (pictured), with many wanting a new design – but not the one FitzSimons posted

Other tweets mocked the rough and ready style of the design (pictured)

Other tweets mocked the rough and ready style of the design (pictured)

Other tweets mocked the rough and ready style of the design (pictured)

FitzSimons, 60, leads the Australian Republican Movement, which wants to replace the Queen with an Aussie as head of state.

He has now set up a company dedicated to finding a new design for the Australian national flag and also for state and territory emblems.

He is one of the directors of Ausflag, alongside politicians, celebrities, writers and businessmen including Vince Sorrenti, Ray Martin, Philip Adams and Anne Keating. 

Their website says they aim to find a flag to ‘represent our nation and its people, our past, present and future, our land, our equality and diversity, our achievements, our hopes and aspirations.’

It adds: ‘We can do much better. Help us tell out story, not someone else’s.’

Republican Peter FitzSimons, 60 (pictured with wife Lisa Wilkinson) has now set up a company dedicated to finding a new design for the Australian national flag and also for state and territory emblems

Republican Peter FitzSimons, 60 (pictured with wife Lisa Wilkinson) has now set up a company dedicated to finding a new design for the Australian national flag and also for state and territory emblems

Republican Peter FitzSimons, 60 (pictured with wife Lisa Wilkinson) has now set up a company dedicated to finding a new design for the Australian national flag and also for state and territory emblems

FitzSimons has dismissed the current flag – which has been official since 1953 – with the quote from US comedian Jerry Seinfield: ‘I love your flag. Great Britain, at night.’ 

Ausflag has been collecting designs since 2015 with the public able to support their favourites, with some attracting thousands of votes.

Many of the most popular have incorporated a kangaroo into the design but the current leader is a design with the Southern Cross above green and gold stripes.

It just edged out another Southern Cross design which has a green and gold boomerang through the centre.

Kangaroos have featured heavily in flag designs

Kangaroos have featured heavily in flag designs

This was the most popular design from 2020

This was the most popular design from 2020

Ausflag has been collecting designs since 2015 with the public able to support their favourites. Some have attracted thousands of votes

This simple design is currently the most popular on the Ausflag website

This simple design is currently the most popular on the Ausflag website

This simple design is currently the most popular on the Ausflag website

Another Southern Cross flag with a version of the Aboriginal flag as a rising sun over a dark red horizon also attracted thousands of votes in support.

The author and political lobbyist says the national flag could be changed at the stroke of a pen if Canberra chose to.

‘Like the republic – though they are separate issues – changing the flag is a matter of political will, not money,’ he posted on Tuesday.

Ausflag have now launched a bid for Western Australia to replace their state flag with a new yellow and black design which drops the Union Jack.

They sent a details proposal to all WA politicians asking them to support a move to become the first state to abandon the emblematic link to the UK.

‘The current state flag is relatively dull and barely indistinguishable from other state flags,’ they told state MPs. ‘Not enough people recognise it and fly it.

Ausflag have now launched a bid for Western Australia to replace their state flag with a new yellow and black design which drops the Union Jack (pictured)

Ausflag have now launched a bid for Western Australia to replace their state flag with a new yellow and black design which drops the Union Jack (pictured)

Ausflag have now launched a bid for Western Australia to replace their state flag with a new yellow and black design which drops the Union Jack (pictured)

‘WA could become the first Australian state to adopt a flag without the Union Jack.’

It adds: ‘All current State flags are similar in appearance and difficult to distinguish from one other (especially when hanging limply on a flagpole). 

‘They are dull and uninspiring – the people of Western Australia deserve better. In contrast, the Northern Territory has a long tradition of very effectively using its flag. 

‘It has engendered strong pride in the Territory for Territorians. It is widely flown by businesses and residents alike.’

Ausflag is also backed by WA businesswoman Janet Holmes a Court who said the current state flag makes ‘Western Australia look like a British branch office: a veritable Little Britain.’

The plan to replace the state flag has been dismissed by the WA government.

Source: DailyMail

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