Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Orstraya! Orstraya! Orstraya!

It’s Orstraya Day tomorrow and there’s been a bit of a fuss over the last day or so. Apparently there’s been a study done that claims that people who stick Australian flags on their cars are more likely to be racist. (Sydney Morning Herald 24/01/2012)

Of course this has led to a bundle of bogans loudly proclaiming “It’s not racist to wave a flag!” This kinda misses the whole point of the study really, but that’s your average bogan for you.

Even so, what I’m really curious about is this – where did the flagwavers come from?   It’s not so long ago that apathy was Australia’s national pastime and flagwaving was viewed as a highly suspicious activity carried out by other countries that (shock, horror) actually respected the wowsers they had in authority. Excessive patriotism was unOrstrayan and also a bit embarrassing.

Now we don’t just wave them, we decorate with flags and we dress up in flags. Hand me a flag and I’ll wave it in a moderate sort of way. Personally however, I do draw the line at putting the national escutcheon over my genitals but there must be plenty of people out there keen to do so cos lots of stores keep selling flaggy underwear.

I like being Australian. I’m proud of the good things we’ve done. I worry about the bad things we’ve done rather than just try to pretend they didn’t happen. I laugh about the silly things that happen. I appreciate the quirks that make us different from the rest of the world. I don't know how we ended up with flagwavers among us that's all.

Is it a good thing?

I just don't know - ask me again in 30 years time and we'll see.

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