2015 Australia flag referendum

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2015 Australia flag referendum
Should the national flag of Australia be changed to the proposed design bellow?
Yes 6,009,465 (50.5%)
No 5,892,273 (49.5%)
Total 11,901,738
National flag of Australia Changed.

The 2015 Australia flag referendum was held on May 6, 2015 to to determine the nation's flag. The voting resulted in the changing of the flag of Australia. Prime Minister Julia Gillard had partially campaigned in the 2011 federal election on a referendum to change the nation’s flag. Gillard argued that the then-flag of Australia represented “too strong a tie to Britain” and did not do enough to establish an Australian identity. Opponents to the referendum and proposed flag argued that the current flag adequately represented Australia and that the Prime Minister was unnecessarily worsening relations with Britain and the commonwealth. Opponents also campaigned with the fact that changing the flag would cost too much unnecessary money.

Unlike in federal elections, voting was not made mandatory, which some claimed hurt the campaign to maintain the flag. Despite this the referendum still had a high turnout. The referendum was strongly divisive which was represented in the narrow final vote. The fact that the alternative design won by less than a percentage point led many opponents to claim that Gillard did not have the authority to change the flag. Abroad, international observers claimed that Australia “was continuing to remove it’s colonial foundations”.