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‘The Arrival of Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of York at the Opening of Federal Parliament Building, Canberra’ (1927) by Harold Septimus Power, Museum of Australian Democracy

Despite the status of people who are arriving at this event, it seems to me that the new parliament building, the massed troops and even the flags are all more important to the artist than the royal guests.

Today, 3 September, is Flag Day in Australia, commemorating when Australian National Flag was first flown in 1901. You’ll notice that the background on the flag in the picture is red, not blue as it became after the Flags Act 1953.

Flag Day was only inaugurated in the 1990s and it’s not a public holiday – indeed, reminding Australians of the imperial symbolism on their flag is always controversial. And debate about what the flag ought to represent continues.

You can visit the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra today. It sits next to the new Parliament, which dwarfs it, complete with a huge flag, flying overhead.