Thursday, January 25, 2007


It's not that I'm unpatriotic...

I love my country.. Well, I love so much about my country. I'm quite passionate about all things Aussie. It's mostly natural Australia, if I think about it. The bush.. native flowers... the landscape ... And that's why I just don't get off on contrived, patriotic symbols and celebrations.

Tomorrow is Australia Day. (Which seems to be rapidly becoming Australia Week or something; the kids and I were getting so confused about why there was an Australia Day concert on tonight, we had to check the date! - it's easy to get confused between Anzac Day on the 25th (April) and this!) But you know what? I couldn't give a stuff about it. Except that it's a public holiday, and I'll take any public holiday that I can get (on Marc's behalf, seeing he's the worker; it means he has a day at home! With us!)

So, our national day is January 26. It commemorates the landing of the First Fleet in 1788. And I just can't accept it as a date to be proud of the nation that we are. Yes, yes... it was English settlement.. white settlement.. which has led to Australia being who we are today. To the Aboriginal people it's Invasion Day... and I have to say I can't say I blame them. And no, I don't have a jot of Aboriginal blood in me.

But I'm not quite sure what is the quintessential Australian...

It would be more appropriate to have our National Day on the anniversary of Australia itself actually becoming a nation. Some 113 years later. Silly founders of Federation scheduling that for January 1. Didn't they know that would already be a public holiday for New Years Day?

And the flag thing... It's not like I'm original in wishing it was different. Yes, I know the diggers fought under it in WWI and WWII... but (as the article says).. that's a spurious claim. And now that Anglo-Aussie thugs claimed it as theirs during ugly race riots, it would make me cringe to be associated with it. (And that cringe factor was cemented at a recent BBQ when some local people said they were 'proud to be Australian' that day. That scared me. )

So, I think we're due for a new, all encompassing flag... that reflects our multi-cultural nation (or at least doesn't Anglicise it)... that acknowledges the Aboriginal people that were invaded on January 26 1788. And the green and gold that are our national colours!

Maybe when we become a republic, when we have had reconciliation with the aboriginal people, with a flag that is green and gold, with no Union Jack/British Ensign in the corner, I'll have a real reason to celebrate a real Australia Day. A day when this song - "I am Australian" is truly meaningful. When the current Australia Day commemorates more than the First Settlement.


I share your concerns and fears in hearing that people "were proud to be Australian" in light of the race riots. Truly, that attitude is disgrace.

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