Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Monday, 25 January 2010

Flagging Loyalties

I wonder when we will be mature enough to have our own national flag – a flag that doesn’t symbolically kowtow to another country?

We are, after all, one of very few counties in the world that appropriates someone else’s flag as part of its own.

In the case of the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 54 independent sovereign states, besides Australia, only New Zealand and Fiji are still attached to the symbolic apron strings.

Fiji has the Union jack on its flag – but then Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth on September 1st 2009, so maybe it doesn’t count.

The question needs to be asked. Why is the Union Jack on our flag? Sure, we were settled/colonised (use whichever term causes least offence) by the British. But that was over 220 years ago, and the world has changed a bit since then.

I doubt that the majority of Australians see the symbolism of the national flag as a high order issue. The only time it’s flown by Joe average is on Australia day, and often the way it’s done (wrapped around a boozy Bogan or stuck in the door frame of a ten year old Commodore on a Made in China marketing exercise) does no-one any credit.

My ancestors are Irish. They came over in the 1860s, driven from their native land by a combination of famine and British indifference. I feel no loyalty to anything or anyone from blighty.

I feel more affinity with the traditional Irish song Foggy Dew, about the Easter Rising of 1916. An extract –

“Oh the night fell black and the rifles' crack Made perfidious Albion reel".

Not much loyalty expressed there.

The English, after all, reneged on the Treaty of Limerick of 1691, which ended the war between the Catholic Jacobite forces and the English loyal to William of Orange. The terms of this treaty were relatively favorable to the Irish. Catholics were given freedom to worship, own property and carry arms.

The English went back on their word in the Penal Laws of 1695, and the Irish were treated as second class citizens for centuries.

Why would I feel any loyalty to them?


My preferred flag is on the title page of this blog. The Eureka flag represents an authentic proud and courageous response to tyranny.

It's good to see Ray Martin agreeing with me. Thanks Ray.




I’d rather resist than kowtow.

And then there’s the current dreary national anthem…… “Song of Australia” (tune of “Waltzing Matilda”) beats it hands down.


I know which one I’d rather march to…..

2 comments:

cav said...

OK I don't mind the blue flag with the stars.

I don't want an aboriginal theme either - didn't we buy the place from them?

Ditto on the national anthem. The vote was for a National TUNE - Waltzing Matilda should have won hands down.

This is what happens when we get people to vote and they are not fully away of what it is they are voting on - otherwise how in the hell did Rudd get up?

The last bit was a joke....

1735099 said...

I wouldn't argue with you about democracy...it's far from perfect, but probably beats anything else that's been tried down through history.

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