Civics Symbols: Review existing information

The next step is to find out more about how Australians use the national flag today. (You could also do the same activities with another Australian flag, such as the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Flag).

Activity 1A Collect data and information

Return to the video at   and download it again. This time watch the last 8 minutes, from 13:06 on the timer bar. Next, look at the pictures in Figure 3. They show the Australian flag being used on a number of occasions. Print out Figure 3, using the Landscape setting in Page Set up (or make a list in your notebook of the number of each photograph). Paste it into your notebook, or onto cardboard for display later.

Add quick sketches of the other flag uses shown in the video, in the spare boxes. Give each activity a label (eg a funeral, a rock concert, a riot, Anzac Day, a parade).

Activity 1B Analyse data and information

Here are some descriptive words that could describe the ways in which the flag is being used:-













Add another label to each picture using one of the words to describe your first impression of each flag use.

Activity 2A  Collect data and information

Go to the following 2 sites and read the protocols (these are guidelines or rules, but not laws) about flying and using the flag, as they are today. (then click on Protocols)

Activity 2B Analyse data and information

Which of these had you heard before? Which of these surprised you? Would these protocols apply to the other Australian flags, such as the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Flags? Write another card for the “Opinion Pieces” display board, with a few of your thoughts about protocols.

Look at Figure 3 again. Put a tick beside the pictures that you think show protocols being followed, a cross beside ones that do not and a question mark beside any that you are unsure of.

Activity 3A Collect data and information

Now you have looked at some ways our national flag is used, and what the rules say about it, you need to focus on what you, and other Australians think about this particular issue. The following table gives you a variety of positive and negative words which might be useful in thinking about how and why flags are used, as you look at information.

Flags can be used to:-
















Show nationality

Sell products

Provoke others

Build pride

Show your values

Start with examining these sites, looking for opinions on the ways flags ought to be used. Make some notes in your notebook to help you analyse the information later.  > National symbols   > Australian national flag

These sites listed mention similar ideas about what flags are for.

Now look at Figure 4, which has quotes from several people with some different opinions about the flag. Look back at some of the photographs in Figure 3, which showed people who apparently have very different ideas indeed. Make notes on these as well.

Activity 3B Analyse data and information

Use a PMI chart to compare the differences.

 What would you see as -

  • a Plus (a positive way of using our flag)
  • a Minus (a negative way)
  • Interesting (something that needs more thinking about)

Sort out your ideas on the chart, and paste it into your notebook.

For the teacher | Introduction | Investigation | Review existing information | Report the findings | Taking Action | Evaluation and assessment | Resources