Discovering democracy: A flag for the nation

collections_Design your own flag

 Copyright Education Services Australia

Resource title: Discovering democracy: A flag for the nation

Digital resource identifier: L7992

Resource description
This slide show follows the development of the national flag and other important Australian flags.

Stage of schooling: Middle Primary

CCE focus: Government and Law


A country’s flags provide a great opportunity to explore national symbols and the values they represent. In this learning object, students are given a historical context to explore Australian symbols and values. They can form their own opinions about what is valued in contemporary Australian life, comparing these values to those of the past. Students are given the chance to design and evaluate a national flag that reflects the identity of today’s Australians.

Opportunities for Civics and Citizenship learning

‘Discovering democracy: A flag for the nation’ provides opportunities for students to:

  • explore what it means to be Australian

  • consider what contemporary Australian values might be

  • compare contemporary Australian values with those of the past

  • examine the use of symbols to represent values.

Ideas for the classroom

  • Draw a sunshine wheel on a large piece of paper and write ‘Australia’ in the centre circle. Provide students with sticky notes. Ask them to write words to describe what they believe is valued in Australia. Ask them to place the notes around the circle.

  • Discuss the ideas and ask students for suggestions about what they think it means to be Australian. Tick the values supported by the majority of the class and discuss whether these could be called common values.

  • Explain that values can be represented in the form of symbols. Ask students to select one of the values identified on the Sunshine Wheel and draw their own symbol for this value. Ask them to share their idea with a colleague, discussing why they have created the symbol.

  • Ask students to complete the learning object and associated task. Explain that it relates to the development of the Australian flag.

  • Display completed flags. Divide the class into two groups to take turns to explain the symbolism in their flags and ask questions. Reverse roles.

  • Complete the activity by asking students to vote for the flag that best represents Australia today. (Students should not vote for their own flag.)