A nation under one flag?

Posted: December 12, 2015 in Ranting
Tags: , , , ,

My Dad wanted an Australian flag to fly from a flagpole. Back then we didn’t have el cheapo flags being turned out in such numbers as today and we didn’t know where to go to get one. He was delighted when a friend who was Post Master of a Post Office had just taken delivery of a new flag and quietly gave Dad the old one. So up went a flag pole on the side of the one the sheds and the flag was flown when Dad felt like flying it. Mum also made him a Fitzroy flag to fly when Fitzroy won the footy – a rare occasion at times – but that is just an aside.

With the ten year anniversary of the Cronulla race riots and with all the regular media images of racist filth draping themselves in Australia flags, I am left wondering what Dad would have thought. He did have some odd ideas at times, particularly in his last couple of years, but one thing Dad always impressed on me was that of giving everyone a fair go. As a young man he went shearing for a couple of seasons and I vividly recall him telling me many years later about the fact an Aboriginal shearer was paid a lot less than Dad despite being a better shearer. Dad couldn’t understand why that would be considered acceptable. Why should the colour of his skin mean he should be paid less money than other, less skilled shearers? It did not matter who you were or where you came from, in Dad’s mind, everyone should generally be giving everyone else a fair go.

There are plenty of things that have been done under the Australian national flag that I am not happy about. A big one is the way Indigenous Australians have been, and in some ways continue to be, treated under the nation represented by that flag. That concept of giving people a fair go has not always been realised. However what the Australian flag was meant to represent to a nation was never that which it is being used by the likes of the United Patriot Front and organisations like that.

So what would Dad think about the way the Australian flag has now become the symbol of blatant racism? I suspect the Dad I grew up with would not have been impressed. One thing is for for sure – that flag would not have been run up the flag pole in celebration of the movement it has now come to be the symbol for.

Right now I cannot think of a better reason why we should be seeking a new Australian flag.

Ross sig

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