4 Reasons to celebrate National Flag Day!
Come on, it’ll be fun – promise!
This month we celebrate National Flag Day on the 3rd of September. This day represents the day when the Australian flag was flown on 3rd September 1901 for the very first time. It may seem like a fairly regular event but it brings with it plenty of learning opportunities of all kinds!
Don’t lower your flag of interest! Read on and discover just how much can come from one simple day in Aussie history.
1 – We come together
There isn’t a sporting event, parade or national holiday that doesn’t include a flag being proudly waved in the wind by a joyful participant. Flags show us that we belong to something bigger and stand as iconic national symbols to identify each country.
2 – Encourages culture competence in the early years
Cultural competence is an essential part of the Early Years Learning Framework supported by the following principles: secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships, partnerships, high expectations and equity and respect for diversity.
It is important to teach children to respect and celebrate the benefits of diversity and have the ability to understand and honour difference.
3 – A better understanding of Geo-knowledge
Living in the land down under it can be tricky to explain to children just how far away other countries are and put into perspective how different cultures come from different parts of the globe.
Introducing children to flags is an excellent way to expand on cultural and geographical knowledge. Using pictures of flags is a great way to teach children about different countries around the world and give them a greater sense of identity and belonging.
For older children, a fun way to celebrate National Flag day starts with simply printing out a world map! Next, select a country of interest with your child – it could be their birth country or their country of heritage. Have your child help you find a picture of the country’s flag. As you go, explain the elements of the flag to them.
For example: Each colour included in a country’s flag is a symbol of the country’s identity, for example:
- Yellow – A symbol of generosity and in Australian Aboriginal culture it represents the Sun, the giver of life and protector
- White – A symbol of peace and honesty
- Red – A symbol of hardiness, bravery, strength & valour. It also represents the red earth or ochre used in ceremonies and Aboriginal people’s spiritual relation to the land
- Blue – A symbol of vigilance, truth and loyalty, perseverance & justice
- Green – A symbol of hope, joy and love and in many cultures have a sacred significance
- Black – A symbol of determination, often reflecting the ethnic heritage of the people and represents the Aboriginal people of Australia in the Australian Aboriginal flag
Did you know? The seventh point on the Commonwealth star on the Australian flag was added in 1908 and is the only change to the flag since 1901.
4 – Inspire creative thinking and improved fine motor skills
Why not include a flag making craft activity into your child’s day! Have them create a flag for themselves or for your family using all kinds of colours and shapes. You could even print out some countries flags for inspiration and to give context. This will encourage your children’s creative thinking and to use their fine motor skills with cutting, gluing and pencil/pen holding.
Flags have the ability to identify us and bring us together, teach us about tolerance, give us a better understand of where everything is in the world and let us exert our imagination and work on basic development skills. Why not incorporate some music, by listening and teaching your child about the Australian national anthem and the national anthems of other countries, whilst flag making.
As Adrian Cronauer said, “Our flag is not just one of many political points of view. Rather, the flag is a symbol of our national unity”. That is something important to remember as we celebrate National Flag Day, it is about belonging, being and becoming.