Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Sunday, 13 February 2011

One for the Monarchists

This might stir up a few monarchists.

It's an amalgam of our current flag with the flag of the San Patricios battalion who fought against the USA in the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848. Most of the battalion's members had defected from the U.S. Army.

The battalion was made up of Catholics of Canadian, English, French, Italian, Polish, Scottish, Spanish, Swiss and Mexican heritage.

To my way of thinking, it's much more representative of my Irish Catholic heritage than the current flag, which displays the flag of a country which prohibits someone of my faith becoming the monarch.

One of my daughters did the imaging - I reckon she did a pretty good job.


Richard Sharpe said...

It's not about you. It's representative of the whole country, a nation founded by the UK that draws our political freedoms from the Westminster sytem we inherited from the kind donors of the canton of our flag.

1735099 said...

Couldn't agree more.
It's not about me - it's about all of us.
Today less than half the population is of pure Anglo-Celtic descent. Over 60% of Australians have at least two, different ethnic origins, and 20% have four or more.
See - http://www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/multicultural/agenda/agenda89/australi.htm
Why should the flag of another country, of no significance to the majority of us, be superimposed on our flag?
It's time we grew up.
The USA, Canada and India were all founded by the UK. The Union Jack does not appear on their flags.
The only authentic flag which adequately represents our aspirations was originally a war flag used by the Eureka Rebellion of 1854 at Ballarat.
You'll see it on this blog. It's there because it represents independence and freedom.

Richard Sharpe said...

As much as demography may change, either by design or otherwise, the origins of modern Australia are static. The nation was born out of the six former colonies on this continent, all British. The flag is representative of this common root. The identity politics that drives some people’s idea that the flag doesn’t represent them personally is misguided and selfish. It is the same reason that I find the practice of flying the Aboriginal Flag alongside the ANF offensive. That flag is representative of only a portion of the population, defined only by race. Surely the institutionalised acknowledgement of one race in our population is a manifest example of racism in its true meaning. By contrast, the ANF is representative of the political roots of our democracy and is something that, as Australians, we all share, regardless of the geographic point of origin of our individual DNA. I am one of the 60% with mixed origins. That has absolutely sweet FA to do with anything, as do your own origins. We are all Australians, we all enjoy the benefits of living in one of the greatest democracies on the planet. That is something we derive from our political heritage, not our personal heritage.

1735099 said...

"That flag is representative of only a portion of the population, defined only by race."
To apply your Koori flag argument, the Union Flag is also racist, as it takes no account of my Celtic race or of the varied non-British racial origins of over half our population.
This argument cannot be selectively applied.
The right-wing pundits demand we ignore some of our history (aboriginal massacres, the stolen generation) but acknowledge our colonial origins. This is a selective reading of our history from an establishment standpoint and is no longer relevant.
They can't have it both ways, and neither can our national heritage be dissected into the personal and the political.
We're talking about a national symbol. By definition it must be inclusive of our common values. I strongly doubt that the colonial and imperial values symbolised by the Union flag are relevant in 21st century Australia.
If we had something truly inclusive, the Koori flag wouldn't be needed.
The bottom line is that we have the flag of another country superimposed on ours - a graphic statement of a lack of national self confidence and an insult to proud Australians.

Richard Sharpe said...

Firstly, it seems odd that you use the word Koori to describe the Aboriginal Flag. Does it now only represent that portion of the indigenous population? Do the Murri and Larakia et al know? Are the words for individual groups of aboriginal people now interchangeable for the whole?

Secondly, I think you misunderstood the statistics you provided. The 60% figure was for Australians who are not pure Anglo-Celt. That doesn’t mean they don’t have British ancestry, they just don’t have only Anglo-Celt ancestors. I fall into that group, as irrelevant as that is to the discussion.

It is irrelevant because it doesn’t really matter that my ancestors were a mixed bunch. It also doesn’t matter that some of them were as staunchly anti-English as I imagine yours were. I also have significant Celtic stock. The Scots had at least as much reason to hate the English as the Irish did. The Scottish Diaspora was caused by a much more direct brutality than conspiracies about the potato crop. All of this is largely irrelevant though. The Union Flag that occupies the canton, the point at which the flag is anchored, is representative of the historical fact that we are a federation of former British colonies.

We should embrace our history; the good the bad and the indifferent. We should acknowledge that bad things happened, but also that we inherited the benefits of over a thousand years of democratic progress from Britain. From Magna Carta through the Reformation, the English Civil War, the Enlightenment, and the export of Liberal thought; our democracy exists in the form it does because we had the good fortune to be colonised by Britain instead of her key rivals at the time. If you really feel that your Celtic roots are not represented, you could dig a little further back to when the Scotti from Ireland overthrew the Picts and created Scotland. The Cross of St Andrew is therefore representative of an Irish people who conquered some of the original inhabitants of Britain. All of that is our history as well because we inherited it. It doesn’t really matter what our individual background is, our national history is British. The strength of your own personal prejudices is not enough to change it, as much as you might like to wish it away.

All this talk of relevance and growing up is in fact fairly infantile. When you grew up and left home did you change your surname? Acknowledging where you came from is actually the adult thing to do. Petulant whinging that our national flag does not represent you personally is very shallow. As for relevance, despite the attempts to the contrary by the like of the ACTU, this country is still a democracy, and a representative Westminster one at that. That stems from our British heritage. It will lose relevance if we become a Socialist Dictatorship, but while we still speak English and vote our link to our British past remains alive and relevant. Don’t think of it as the flag of another country, think of it more as our national surname. It doesn’t mean that we can’t make our own decisions and live our own life, we just acknowledge how we got to where we are.

Our flag is therefore an appropriate national symbol. The Southern Cross is one of our most celebrated national icons and also signifies our place in the world. The Federation Star represents the six former colonies that became the states, and our territories. Finally, the Union Flag occupies the canton – the anchor on which our democracy is based.

1735099 said...

“Firstly, it seems odd that you use the word Koori to describe the Aboriginal Flag.”

Whilst the terms “Murri” and “Koori” are not strictly interchangeable, according to the brown water people I worked with for years in North-West Queensland, they are terms that don’t cause offence. “Murri” reflects people who hail from what is now Queensland and “Koori” those from NSW and Victoria.

I did pay them the courtesy to ask what they liked to be called, and that’s what I was told.

“despite the attempts to the contrary by the like of the ACTU, this country is still a democracy”

One of the first privileges to be removed by any totalitarian regime is the right to organise. The existence of a strong union movement has always been one of the underpinnings of our Australian democracy.

In the final analysis, my ancestry (and “prejudices” as you regard them) are irrelevant.

(BTW – a “prejudice” is defined as an assumption made about someone or something before having adequate knowledge to be able to do so with guaranteed accuracy. I expressed an opinion, not a prejudice. It is a prejudice in your eyes simply because you disagree).

Our national flag is an anachronism. It has the flag of another nation superimposed. We have, as a nation, outgrown our cultural cringe. It’s time we moved on.

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