I WILL fly my flag!

Posted: 26/01/2012 in Life
Tags: ,

Australians, until perhaps the last decade, have not been flamboyant when it comes to displaying pride in their nation on Australia day. Our style has been to simply relish the public holiday with a BBQ, family and friends. More recently though Australia day has become more about acknowledging who we are as a nation and expressing gratitude for all the things that make Australia a wonderful place to live. As well, our national flag is making an appearance as a hat, a towel, a t-shirt, out the front of homes, on cars and so on and  I would have assumed it is because of the pride people have in their nation, but I heard this week that there are those who consider it an act of racism. I can not for any amount of thinking, understand how this could be deemed so. I understand that there are both individuals and groups who consider themselves superior to others, who would, if they had their way, banish anyone not of their liking from living in Australia but they are not the majority and nor do they speak for the majority. I also acknowledge that we have had some dark periods in our history where we have treated others in abhorrent ways and of course this could indeed lead people to thinking that we are a racist nation but it is simply not so.

How can I as an Australian, celebrating Australia day possibly be considered racist by displaying the flag of my nation on my national day of pride? I have a few little flags around the house and some flag tattoos for the kids but I do this because I love my nation, with all her faults, and this is my day to show it.  By doing this I am not excluding those from other countries; I don’t care who you are, where you came from, what language you speak, or what colour you skin is because it is those very things that makes this nation what it is today. An “Australian” is not defined by colour, race or language, I embrace our multiculturalism and when I fly my national flag I do it for all those who consider this country their home whether permanently or temporarily.

We are indeed a multi-cultural nation and if you were not born here but have immigrated her for whatever reason whether because of greater opportunity, to be with family or because of devastation in your own country I embrace you and your culture. I am not asking that anyone change all those things that define their heritage because they bring these things to this country making us the nation we are today. Australian way of life is as richly diverse as the landscape itself and it’s only that way because of the multitude of people from other nations that have immigrated here. So I will not take down my flag because I fly it with a sense of pride in my country and all her people’s wherever they may be from. Happy Australia Day!

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