By Emma Horn

IF Sebastian Ng ran a country, he’d make sure no-one was ever hungry.

“Starvation is really important [to me],” he says. “Lots of people die all over the world because they lack food.

“I think the laws should say that everyone gets three full meals a day.”

So when he had to make a flag that would express how the world would look if he was in charge, he knew exactly what to put on it.

“[Flags] represent their countries’ ideas and what’s unique about them, and my country would be the only country with unlimited food and no starvation,” says Sebastian, who’s 11.

“Mine had a picture of a burger and fries [to] represent my love for food.”

Kids with the flags they made for the parade for the Children's Republic of Sydney at the Opera House. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Kids with the flags they made for the parade for the Children’s Republic of Sydney at the Opera House. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Chilli and rhubarb

Max Ng, who’s eight, agrees with his brother. He’d like to become a chef when he’s older, to make sure everyone has food.

“I think that everyone should be allowed to eat whatever they want whenever they want,” says Max.

“I like to sushi and chilli and rhubarb. People should be allowed to eat rhubarb, especially with yoghurt.”

Kids with the flags they made for the parade for the Children's Republic of Sydney at the Opera House. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Kids with the flags they made for the parade for the Children’s Republic of Sydney at the Opera House. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Flying the flags

Sebastian and Max joined more than 150 kids marching around the Sydney Opera House, flying flags and banners they had made out of recycled fabrics.

It was part of the Children’s Republic of Sydney event, which ran from April 9 until April 13.

Bridgette Van Leuven helped organise it. She says it’s important to give kids a chance to be heard.

“Kids want to fill the world with great things, like they want people to smile more, or … they want to look after sick people, and we should be listening to that,” she says.

Bronwyn Zapirain, 10, with her flag at the parade for the Children's Republic of Sydney school holiday event at the Sydney Opera House. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Bronwyn Zapirain, 10, with her flag at the parade for the Children’s Republic of Sydney school holiday event at the Sydney Opera House. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Writing the rules

The children also wrote a list of laws – called a constitution – which they gave to state leaders at the end of the parade.

William Charter, who’s 11, says he’d make it a law that everyone had to have a pet.

“Everyone should have a pet because then they’ll never be lonely,” he says.

“If they didn’t like cats, they could get a dog. Or if they don’t like dogs they can have a cat. Birds are also fine.”

If everyone had a pet, William says no-one would be unhappy. That’s why he put a smiley face on his flag.

“The peace sign was there because I want my country to have peace and the smiley face because I want people to never be sad,” he says.

NSW Liberal politician Scott Farlow with kids and their specially made flags after the Children's Republic of Sydney parade at the Opera House. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

NSW Liberal politician Scott Farlow with kids and their specially made flags after the Children’s Republic of Sydney parade at the Opera House. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Elias Joo Pretel, 8, with the flag he made for the Children's Republic of Sydney parade at the Opera House. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Elias Joo Pretel, 8, with the flag he made for the Children’s Republic of Sydney parade at the Opera House. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Ban fighting

Elias Joo, who’s eight, also put a peace sign on his flag because he’d make fighting illegal.

“There’s been lots of wars [in the world] and I just want people to stop fighting over the land and share it instead,” he says.

And William says if someone broke a law, the Children’s Republic would be very strict on their punishment.

“I’d have to hear why they did it, but they’d probably have to go to jail,” he says.

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