UNPOPULAR FLAG SELLS IN RECORD AMOUNTS

Brendan Jones in the SMH:

Australia has the world’s most unpopular national flag … Support for the Australian flag peaked in the early 1960s at about 70 per cent. Since then, support has declined steadily at an average of one half of one percentage point each year.

I guess that explains why current flag sales are so poor:

Sales have increased three-fold in the past five years, with the most notable rise among private rather than corporate buyers …

Bruce Merrett of Abel Flagpoles and Flags said sales had been steadily rising for three years. “Since September 11, patriotism has increased probably four-fold,” he said.

Jim Hilbert, managing director of Carroll and Richardson Flagworld, said his company’s sales this month were at a 40-year high and 50 per cent higher than at this time last year.

Maybe people are buying all these flags just so they can set them on fire.

Posted by Tim B. on 01/28/2006 at 08:10 AM
    1. “Support for the Australian flag peaked in the early 1960s at about 70 per cent.”

      Oh, that sounds like a really verifiable statistic. And I doubt that the spike in sales over the last five years is due to people wanting to burn the flag. I mean, if dissidents wanted to burn something symbolic of Australia, wouldn’t it be more economical to just burn kangaroos?

      Posted by paco on 2006 01 28 at 10:02 AM • permalink

 

    1. To those who think this is nonsense, reflect upon this: if the Australian flag did not contain the Union Jack and instead celebrated our multicultural reality, how many neo-Nazis, white supremacists and Anglo racists would wave the national flag with aggressive and exclusionary intent? Answer: none.

      Wow, who can argue with that ..he says if we change our flag to a flag that everone embraces, the flag will be without aggressive and exclusionary intent.
      So lets come to a consensus on a flag.

      Posted by Melanie on 2006 01 28 at 10:53 AM • permalink

 

    1. Are you sure those sales figures weren’t skewed by PETA butt flag numbers, Tim?

      Posted by andycanuck on 2006 01 28 at 10:58 AM • permalink

 

    1. ofcourse there is a bit of conflict of interest in his article which might have lead to the countless dubious statistics.  He has a website where you can vote for your favourite Aussie flag that he has designed

      Posted by Melanie on 2006 01 28 at 11:01 AM • permalink

 

    1. By focusing on the negative, Brendan Jones does his cause a disservice. There is only one good reason to change flags, and it is a positive one: as a proud declaration of national sovereignty.  Attacking the reputation of the existing flag is divisive and unnecessary.

      Posted by slammer on 2006 01 28 at 11:17 AM • permalink

 

    1. paco makes a good point.  I think that Jones is falling back to the old leftie dodge of stating a personal opinion as a fact.

      OTOH, maybe he hopes to make a killing in selling a new Australian flag by being first on the market.  This wouldn’t be the first leftie making a buck off his fellow idiots.

      What?  Who, me?  Cynical?  ;-p

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 01 28 at 11:18 AM • permalink

 

    1. he only wrote that piece to show off his vocab: We are now at a vexillological crossroad

      Posted by KK on 2006 01 28 at 12:14 PM • permalink

 

    1. is he any relation to the bearded database?

      Posted by KK on 2006 01 28 at 12:15 PM • permalink

 

    1. 8:  KK, I’m sure that you’re right. He’s probably waited his entire life for an opportunity to use that word. Reminds me of when I was in the fourth grade; I wrote a whole paper on the American Revolution which was geared toward using my then-favorite new word, “ubiquitous”. And I used it incorrectly, of course.

      Posted by paco on 2006 01 28 at 12:26 PM • permalink

 

    1. Paco, didn’t Dennis the Menace’s be-hatted chum use that word to describe a dog?  Or am I thinking of Marmaduke?

      Posted by ushie on 2006 01 28 at 12:50 PM • permalink

 

    1. Ushie: I don’t recall. But I’m thinking that the word “ubiquitous” used in connection with a dog simply must have negative connotations.

      Posted by paco on 2006 01 28 at 01:04 PM • permalink

 

    1. I don’t know… perhaps Australians don’t like how their flags look (common Commonwealth Realm feeling, it would seem, though Canada seems to be the only Realm country that got around to changing the flag).

      I mean, come on, is it really wise to have a flag that has an ensign representing an empire that ceased ruling you for a really long time, plus a general design that most outsiders (me included) confuse with New Zealand’s flag?

      However, though their general dislike of the flag, perhaps Australians just keep buying them because, well, it is Australia’s flag. What’s the alternative if they want to give their homes a patriotic flavour? Fly bottles of Vegemite on the front lawn?

      So I would say both stories are not necessarily contradictory. If the Australian flag ceased to be, well, the Australian flag – would sales of the Blue Ensign increase yet another four-fold?

      I mean, you guys as patriotic as you are ditch your lame-ass motto (“Advance Australia”? WTF?), perhaps it is time to ditch the flag. Include the anthem as well. Be pioneers! I mean, you guys are already one of the very few states without a motto and that seemed to be working fine.

      And should an organization – say United Nations – require a flag, perhaps its time to reconsider membership :-).

      Posted by Rajan R on 2006 01 28 at 01:11 PM • permalink

 

    1. #7 KK
      Then there is a great swath of vexillological terms that go with it.

      Posted by Melanie on 2006 01 28 at 01:11 PM • permalink

 

    1. it is a very great pity that the eureka flag was appropriated by the unions.  it’s a great design, & after all the eureka guys were against unfair taxation & heavy handed officials interfering in their lives.  perhaps we should rip it off the commos & make it a standard for the right?

      fer furriners, here’s the eureka flag and some stuff on its background

      still got a soft spot for the union jack though

      Posted by KK on 2006 01 28 at 01:16 PM • permalink

 

    1. #13 bloody hell – canadians have a rep for arguing on & on about nothing, but that half-mast thing is astounding

      can nobody else sleep, or are you all in daylight?

      Posted by KK on 2006 01 28 at 01:23 PM • permalink

 

    1. I don’t see Hawaii ever getting grief for their flag?

      The eight alternating white, red and blue stripes represent the eight islands of Hawaii. The British Union Jack represents Hawaii’s historical relationship with Great Britian as its protectorate. It also represents a stylized puela (a triangular standard laying across two crossed spears called an alia) which is the symbol of the Hawaiian ali’i.

      Hawaiian flag link

      Posted by Srekwah on 2006 01 28 at 01:24 PM • permalink

 

    1. Your current flag design was paid for in blood at Gallipoli and in the Pacific. Don’t change it.

      And fuck the Canadian example. They don’t have a flag, they have a logo. If I was Canadian, I’d be flying the Dominion flag at my house.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 01 28 at 01:25 PM • permalink

 

    1. #14 KK: We should have a little pin badge with the Eureka flag and underneath it should say “United Against Unfair Tax.”

      Posted by Melanie on 2006 01 28 at 01:26 PM • permalink

 

    1. You’ll have to copy and paste the above URL to see Hawaii’s flag. It won’t work off the page for some reason.

      Posted by Srekwah on 2006 01 28 at 01:27 PM • permalink

 

    1. #18 good one

      #16 not bad, but where’s the pineapple?

      Posted by KK on 2006 01 28 at 01:30 PM • permalink

 

    1. #‘s 13 & 14. Great links, interesting stuff.

      I think the Great Canadian Controversy over half-staff and half-mast is completely half-assed. I guess being snowed in must make folks exceptionally cranky.

      Posted by paco on 2006 01 28 at 01:34 PM • permalink

 

    1. Support for the Australian flag peaked in the early 1960s at about 70 per cent. Since then, support has declined steadily at an average of one half of one percentage point each year.

      Sounds like another “our” or two went missing.

      Posted by PW on 2006 01 28 at 01:36 PM • permalink

 

    1. BTW, Al Gore is blaming the Conservative victory in Canada on “Big Oil”.

      Posted by paco on 2006 01 28 at 01:37 PM • permalink

 

    1. al gore is certifiable

      Posted by KK on 2006 01 28 at 01:40 PM • permalink

 

    1. Hell, I bought one.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 01 28 at 01:46 PM • permalink

 

    1. The Delaware State flag has two guys who look like mannequins decked out in thrift store togs. BUT THAT COULD CHANGE, if rumors of Delaware’s revanchist plans turn out to be true.

      Posted by paco on 2006 01 28 at 01:47 PM • permalink

 

    1. You needed to use the proper linking tags, Srekwah—using a plain link inside a quote tag apparently screwed up the link. I’ve fixed it.

      Everyone, if you aren’t sure how to use Pmcode for formatting, click on the PMcode guide link above the comment box.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 01 28 at 02:08 PM • permalink

 

    1. I could look up all these flags if I weren’t so lazy, it being Saturday and all.  Oz, have a flag with your national symbols of fresh-water shark, koala, kanga, and beer on it.  Unburnable to everyone.

      Paco, Delaware is the state known for this:  “Milk was made the official State beverage on June 3, 1983.”

      Also, according to its official site, its Militiamen used to carry Blue Hens around with them and made them fight in cockfights during lulls in the Revolutionary War.  This is so extremely stupid and peculiar that I can imagine Rove’s ancestor, Lord Rove the First, got to Delaware early on…

      Posted by ushie on 2006 01 28 at 02:09 PM • permalink

 

    1. 28: Milk-drinking cock-fighters? Sounds to me like the perfect regimen for creating a race of physically fit psychopaths. I don’t care what Wronwright says, I’m keepin’ an eye on ‘em.

      Posted by paco on 2006 01 28 at 02:26 PM • permalink

 

    1. Lefties hate our history, our flag and want to change them to suit their pet foibles.

      Its all envy

      Posted by rog on 2006 01 28 at 03:02 PM • permalink

 

    1. Speaking of cool mottos, few are cooler than Belize’s – Sub Umbro Floreo – “We Prosper in the Shade”

      Posted by Andrew on 2006 01 28 at 03:21 PM • permalink

 

    1. 30: I checked out the link. So, Lefty Elitist has “officially withdrawn his recognition” of the flag, eh? Puts me in mind of an old joke about an ant with a hard on riding a leaf down the river, crying “raise the bridge!”.

      Posted by paco on 2006 01 28 at 03:30 PM • permalink

 

    1. I was in Bristol Farms, an upscale Southern Cal food store, this week and they had Australian flags all over the pastry counter. I counted at least a dozen. Not sure what the occasion was (and it was too early in the AM for me to be coherent enough to ask), but it sure puts the lie to Mr. Jones’ comment.

      Posted by Dr Alice on 2006 01 28 at 04:32 PM • permalink

 

    1. The lefties would salute a flag showing his-and-her compassionate head-tilts.

      Posted by perfectsense on 2006 01 28 at 04:32 PM • permalink

 

    1. The interesting thing about the article is that it is not attributed to the exquisitely named Harold Scruby, the Heepish ideologue behind Ausflag – presumably Brendan Jones is one of Scruby’s stooges.
      Of course, Harold might be too busy these days harassing car owners from behind his moat at the Pedestrian Council of Australia – a grandly titled but mysterious organisation which Mike Carlton once described as “Harold Scruby and his fax machine”.
      A few years ago, Peter Ryan cut Scruby off at the knees with an article in Quadrant (link below). With a little editing it would serve as a good response to the Jones rant.
      Quadrant, The Red, White and Blue

      Posted by Boss Hog on 2006 01 28 at 04:36 PM • permalink

 

    1. Australia has the world’s most unpopular national flag …

      Yeah.  And nobody drinks your beer either.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 01 28 at 04:45 PM • permalink

 

    1. Paco—“Milk-drinking cockfighters” unfortunately reminded me of George Galloway and Pete Burns.

      Shudder.

      Posted by ushie on 2006 01 28 at 04:46 PM • permalink

 

    1. #12 RajanR – you describe yourself as an outsider, so it’s not your flag and not your anthem. I’ll therefore thak you to keep your ill-informed opinions to yourself.

      By the way, you blog blows. Who the fuck writes anything for the web that doesn’t support Internet Explorer?

      Posted by Oafish and Infantile on 2006 01 28 at 04:56 PM • permalink

 

    1. #35 G’day Boss Hog,

      Thank you very much for that link – I was moved to tears.

      The strange thing is – until Ming the Merciless (Menzies) decided that we should settle on the blue ensign as the sole basis for our flag – people were free to pick either the blue or red ensign versions of the flag.  If you look at old colour photos of people waving the flag on important occasions you can see a healthy mix of red and blue.

      If you go to the War Memorial you can see that the flags that the POWs cobble together (like the Changi flag) generally favoured the red version.

      Posted by Russell on 2006 01 28 at 05:32 PM • permalink

 

    1. oafish and infantile:
      Anyone who is interested in web standards and making sure Bill Gates does not remain out fascist overlord.  That position is reserved for mr Rove.

      Posted by entropy on 2006 01 28 at 05:34 PM • permalink

 

    1. Who really worries that much about what’s on a flag anyway? Most people can barely recognise a dozen foreign countries’ flags. This is just one in a long line of “what will the world think of us”  issues that the left gets all het up about.

      I’d be surprised if anyone outside Australia cared what our flag is.  The only confusion is in the Olympics when the NZ and Oz flags can be a bit hard to tell apart on TV . And that doesn’t last long. The Australian flag is the one for the athlete on the medal dais.

      Posted by Francis H on 2006 01 28 at 05:49 PM • permalink

 

    1. I own a number of flags (circa 75-80) as it’s been a hobby of mine since boyhood.

      Among them are a small Australian flag which I like and admire. I hope one day to visit and see large Aussie flags snapping in the breeze along the beach front (driving Lefties and unassimilated Jihadis to distraction!)

      I also own a rather large old Canadian Dominion flag which I bought at a flea market because it looks cool and shows up a lot in old hockey photos.

      I even own an ‘AC Milan’ soccer pennant. I don’t necessarily support the team but I wanted to throw a couple of bucks to Silvio Berlusconi for being an ally.

      Posted by JDB on 2006 01 28 at 06:10 PM • permalink

 

    1. Whether we change the flag or not, we will never have a flag by consensus.  There will always be those of us who don’t like the flag of the moment – and it is up to us to do our fellow Australians the honour of not pissing on their parade by disrespecting the official symbol.
      Work to change the symbol by offering positive alternatives rather than by knocking the current one.

      Posted by PeterTB on 2006 01 28 at 06:14 PM • permalink

 

    1. I was in Bristol Farms, an upscale Southern Cal food store, this week and they had Australian flags all over the pastry counter. I counted at least a dozen. Not sure what the occasion was

      Australia Day is January the 26th.

      Posted by jic on 2006 01 28 at 06:15 PM • permalink

 

    1. #39 I think the blue ensign was always the official flag, but it was so much easier to get hold of a starless red ensign for home-made flags that it was tolerated.
      I love the pure up-yours vexillological conservatism that Victoria’s Parliament House still flew the Union Jack in the 1980s.

      Posted by Andrew R on 2006 01 28 at 06:28 PM • permalink

 

    1. David Marr has put an excellent argument for the retention of the Monarchy, and for the Howard government being unbiassed.
      He actually thought he was arguing that there is not bias at the ABC. It goes like this:
      1. Attempts to change the ABC by appointing managing directors with a different approach have failed.
      Only proves the ineptitude of the attempts.
      2. People actually trust the ABC, as shown by polls.
      Ditto Monarchy & Howard Government.
      3. The ABC is underfunded and the KPMG report is going to prove it.
      So there!
      Not much in the article about actual instances of alleged bias, or rebuttals thereof. Presumably all such accusations by such people as Frank Devine, Janet Albrechtsen, Andrew Bolt or any other RWDB News Ltd writer (not to mention contributors here)are beneath contempt and do not need to be addressed. It worked for Media Watch … oh, wait a minute ….

      Posted by blogstrop on 2006 01 28 at 06:36 PM • permalink

 

    1. Rajan, for any ignorant wally who can’t tell the difference between the New Zealand and Australian flag:

      The Australian flag is quite distinctive with a large seven pointed star underneath the Union Jack. It is the Federation Star which signfies its states and territories.

      The four major stars of the Southern Cross constellation are Federation Stars too. It also contains an extra five pointed star between the right and the bottom Federation Stars.

      The NZ flag DOES NOT have the large Federation Star. It DOES NOT have the extra five pointed star. And the stars of its Southern Cross are red with a white keyline.

      What’s to get confused about?

      —Nora

      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2006 01 28 at 06:44 PM • permalink

 

    1. This is a lovely amateur web site but it has great information about the Australian flags, the origin and use in battle – Digger History

      —Nora

      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2006 01 28 at 06:59 PM • permalink

 

    1. #44

      Ah hah! That’s the day I was there – January 26.

      Posted by Dr Alice on 2006 01 28 at 07:04 PM • permalink

 

    1. I’m with Nora (who beat me to it – such is life). I am VERY HAPPY to have the Union Jack in the corner, the country was built from the ground up within the Empire and reflects the best of British values of the noneteenth century. We are lucky that it leaves out all the worst British values; upper class twits, soccer, vile weather, proximity to Europe and of late, dhimmitude.

      So having the Union Jack there is most appropriate from an historical and cultural sense. BTW, my ancestors were Norwegian and German, no English at all, but we have been here for 70% of the life of European settlement, and my grandfather went to his grave with 1916 shrapnel still in his chest from the fighting he did under that flag.

      So if ‘Bwenden’ wants to change it to something more appropriate to his view of an Australia composed of himself and his latte-sipping bumchums… we will have words, and hopefully more than that, over the issue.

      Oh, and Rajan? In WWI, ‘Advance Australia!’ was something the Imperial German Army was deeply, desperately afraid of. It meant the Australians were upon them, closing for hand-to-hand, with the bayonet (and knives, Mills bombs, clubs, bludgeons, fists and teeth). They never once, to my knowledge, withstood an AIF bayonet charge in close quarters.

      It is a bloody battle cry.

      MarkL
      Canberra

      Posted by MarkL on 2006 01 28 at 07:18 PM • permalink

 

    1. My feeling is that this flap over the Australian flag (if there even really is a flap) is something for Australians to sort out.  But it also seems to me that having the Union Jack on your flag is a symbol of where your values came from.  Just because the British Empire is gone doesn’t mean it wasn’t great in its day, and that it didn’t spread the meme of freedom and democracy all around the world.  Today, the countries that do best are the countries that are former British colonies.  No accident there, hey?

      That said, the U.S. doesn’t have a Union Jack on its flag because we were one of the colonies that had to fight them to get out of their grip.  Doesn’t mean we don’t honor and maintain what they gave us.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 01 28 at 07:43 PM • permalink

 

    1. An educated guess has it that the decline in popularity is proportiante to the declining demographics of the anglo(and scots-irish, considering it contains the scottish + cross of St Patrick emblems) majority.

      I imagine that if there is a new ‘multicultural’ flag made official, many, if not most, anglo-celts will still hold onto the old flag. Kinda like Southerners holding onto the Confederate flag.

      Posted by blinky_2029 on 2006 01 28 at 07:44 PM • permalink

 

    1. I never heard the Canadian flag called the Dominion Flag. To us it was the Red Ensign.
      But I quess since it no longer exists in real time Dominion Flag it is.
      PMS: I do admire the aussie flag!

      Posted by Go Canucks on 2006 01 28 at 07:50 PM • permalink

 

    1. We Aussies are rather odd about the way we show our patriotism and values.

      We’re not the type of people who go for overt displays. However, if we perceive any of those things under threat we have absolute steel in our resolve.

      I noticed this past Australia Day that many more homes were displaying the flag – usually in windows or off balconies. I believe this may be in reaction to the Cronulla riots.

      —Nora

      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2006 01 28 at 07:58 PM • permalink

 

    1. As for the argument that the flag is representative of the ‘far-right’, one should consider that the two biggest ‘far-right’ groups in Australia actually use the Eureka Flag because of its anti-asian connotations(from back in the day when the far-left was the far-right and the unions were all pro-‘white australia policy’ and up to no good in Lambing Flats).

      Posted by blinky_2029 on 2006 01 28 at 08:01 PM • permalink

 

    1. I’m not overwhelmed by the design of the flag, but the symbolism is good, especially the Union Jack linking to the mother of parliamentary democracy. In any case, things like flags have an evolved capital it would be stupid to squander. I would be deeply disturbed if any new design garnered overwhelming support, given that the advocates of flag change can’t stop extending the critique to our nation’s development as a whole.

      Posted by Andrew R on 2006 01 28 at 08:54 PM • permalink

 

    1. #12 I couldnt give a flying fuck what you think about our flag or anthem.

      I like them and if you dont then just as well don’t live here.

      Posted by Anthony_ on 2006 01 28 at 09:09 PM • permalink

 

    1. Some Points:
      – Why do people so concerned with our “international reputation” spend so much time trashing it?
      – Anybody outside of Oz has NO dog in this fight, and if they think they do, they can fold it til it’s all corners and cram it.

      Seriously, isn’t this the time in our history that we need to hold on to our history? The Union Jack is both an acknowledgement of our national ancestry, and a signal to anyone coming that This Is The Way We Live. English rule of law, English polity and English custom

      Posted by Paul Wright on 2006 01 28 at 09:18 PM • permalink

 

    1. I love the Aussie flag; I do not see connotations in it of racism, although – and many studies have been done on this so it’s not just me – the little star, the smallest one there on the right? Yeah, that one. That one almost certainly represents Australia’s deep-seated homophobia. And the big one all alone beneath the Union Jack, that one is pretty clearly pro-carbon emissions and anti-Kyoto, which is unfortunate. Other than that though, I can’t find fault with it, though many many people have told me that if you guys would take those two stars off it, the flag would be much more acceptable, and even – don’t hold me to this – progressive.

      Posted by ekw on 2006 01 28 at 09:26 PM • permalink

 

    1. #39: Pardon my ignorance, but why is Menzies ‘Ming the Merciless’?

      Posted by Ian Deans on 2006 01 28 at 09:33 PM • permalink

 

    1. For some reason, “Menzies” is supposed to be pronounced “Mingus”.

      Posted by jic on 2006 01 28 at 09:40 PM • permalink

 

    1. – Why do people so concerned with our “international reputation” spend so much time trashing it?

      Paul — They don’t: they think you do.  It’s a buzzword they trying to use without half understanding.  At the most, their notion of being “concerned” about Australia’s reputation comes down to their irritation at being asked about Howard at trendy international press conventions…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 01 28 at 09:44 PM • permalink

 

    1. #58, Paul, make it “British” rather than “English” and I am 100% with you.  Both you and Andrew R (#56) go to the heart of the most important issue in my book.

      You don’t just invent a new tradition overnight.  This is our established flag with a huge weight of tradition, sacrifice, history, meaning and aspiration behind it – it is no liitle matter to simply toss it away for some faddish new design.  What then, yet another new design in a few years when you tire of the old one or some new fad comes along?

      And both Brendan Jones and Mr Arse-clown #12 don’t get it.  The Union Jack belongs on our flag because our political system, our legal system, our official language and our broad national values are indisputably British and will continue to show that heritage for as long as we remain a nation.

      No matter where your national origins lie, no matter what cultural affiliations you maintain, that is funadmentally true.  Indeed, that is why most immigrants came to this country in the first place – to enjoy our freedom, opportunity and rule of law.

      One last thing – isn’t it entirely appropriate that the Australan and NZ flags should look roughly similar?  (Although I agree that any dickheqad should be able to tell them apart.)  I mean, we are pretty damn similar countries, despite the protestations of chauvanistic Aussies and Kiwis.  Sure, Australian men prefer gorgeous sun-bronzed women and New Zealan men prefer soft, white, woolly … (ahem) in the interests of preserving ANZAC harmony, I will go no further but you get my drift.  Fer Chrissake, they almost bloody federated with us!  We are virtually the same nation, as far as I am concerned.

      Posted by TFK on 2006 01 28 at 09:56 PM • permalink

 

    1. I had a skim through Brendan Jones’ article in the SMH and thought “just another lefty whinger”, then came over here and read the comments.
      Melanie (#4), with her link to Jones’ flag design site, showed up Jones as a self interested twit, and the SMH as the agenda driven birdcage liner it has become.

      Nice “gotcha”, Melanie.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2006 01 28 at 10:20 PM • permalink

 

    1. #54. Nora, I’ve also noticed more aussie flags out in gardens when we’ve been a-wandering.

      I don’t own our flag although I do have the stars and stripes – I just hang it in the kitchen and not in the yard.

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2006 01 28 at 10:33 PM • permalink

 

    1. #39 & 45
      At least until the late 1980s, in the Australian maritime world the traditional ensign colours were white for navy, blue for government work and red for civilians or merchant marine. Anyone who flew the blue on his tinny was obviously new to boating.

      The history behind this allocation of the three colours goes back to 1864 in the Royal Navy, when
      “…the White Ensign was reserved to the Royal Navy, the Blue Ensign undefaced to the Royal Naval Reserve and defaced with the appropriate departmental or territorial badge to government service, and the Red Ensign to the ‘merchant navy’.”  http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/gb-enshs.html#his

      I think the present flag needs no improvement, but if we must have a new flag, let’s hope its designers can embody all of the history represented in the present one.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2006 01 28 at 10:34 PM • permalink

 

    1. TFK:
      Consider English changed to “British”. As a one-quarter scots and the rest bog-Irish, my ancestors were kicking up a fuss.

      Posted by Paul Wright on 2006 01 28 at 10:35 PM • permalink

 

    1. 1) The Australian Flag Association in WA (dedicated to keeping and promoting the present flag) has more 3,000 members. I haven’t a link but they have a website and sell merchandise. Annoy the lefties and buy some!

      2) How can this idiot identify the Union Jack with neo-Nazism? The Union Jack, historically, is the supreme (and at one time was, in Europe the only) anti-Nazi symbol.

      3) Brenda Jones has a photo of himself on his website. He looks like a cartoon version of Pee Wee Herman.

      Posted by Susan Norton on 2006 01 28 at 10:36 PM • permalink

 

    1. And they want the Eureka flag?
      Whats the odds any oz white supremacist with a swastika on one arm has the Eureka on the other? Its a flag, its Australias flag, get over it allready!! Bloody “shame shame me” mobs of twats.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2006 01 28 at 10:58 PM • permalink

 

    1. #60, Bob Menzies’ nickname was “Ming”, both for the prominence of his eyebrows (which were a useful replica of the evil cartoon character from “Flash Gordon”), but also because the original Scottish pronunciation of “Menzies” is something like “Mingees”.

      What I haven’t been able to Google up since the flag debate/Cronulla blue have become entwined is the photo of Labor Party leader (sic) Kim Beazley literally wrapped in the flag.  It was taken at a “save Ansett” rally during the 2001 federal election campaign.

      It was published in a number of newspapers, including The Age.

      I would love to see it again, if only as a retort to those on the Left who suggest that any person claiming pride in the Australian flag is, de facto, a racist.

      Any assistance available on the photo?

      Posted by yarraside on 2006 01 28 at 11:12 PM • permalink

 

    1. JeffS #6

      The left dodge is to say that there are no facts only opinions or, shouldn’t we say, ‘voices’.  To exclude a ‘voice’ on the grounds of its poverty of argument is disguised powerplay.

      And this is given as a fact.

      Many Australians want a republic like many young people finally leave home but we don’t want to be rude to Mum and Dad because we want to come back for a nice roast and maybe get the laundry done.

      The Union Jack on the Australian flag means that we want Mum to care that we are wearing clean underpants in case of accident and always carry a hankie.  No yelling, slammed doors, early pregnancies in squalid flats and flags with big dead leaves on them.

      Ever thought what a cool-looking flag the Union Jack is?  When you want to change your flag, just stick a new one over the top like a sponge cake.

      Posted by Inurbanus on 2006 01 28 at 11:14 PM • permalink

 

    1. Go to the site and check this git out.
      Macquarie Uni (check)
      Aust Republican movement (like a bowel movement but you cannot flush it away – check)
      Little exposure to real world (chec)

      We have a moonbat.

      The picture makes me thnk of THE scene in Pulp Fiction: “Get the Gimp!”

      MarkL
      Canberra

      Posted by MarkL on 2006 01 28 at 11:28 PM • permalink

 

    1. Nora: “We Aussies are rather odd about the way we show our patriotism and values.”

      On 26th January our young adult daughter emerged from her room and wished us a Happy Australia Day. Could have knocked me over with a feather – no one ever did that in my day. Was this school indoctrination or is she a proto-RWDB? All this patriotism.

      Refer also Gallipoli and Remembrance Day – youngsters take these far more seriously these days, unlike the 70s, 80s and 90s when they were reviled.

      A lovely trend.

      Posted by walterplinge on 2006 01 28 at 11:42 PM • permalink

 

    1. I read the SMH daily, it always cheers me up with the silliness of its writers. Who else would publish them?
      Our flag is the best flag ever, it is our past and our present and in my opinion , it is the ONLY flag that should represent Australia.
      The Aboriginal flag should only be flown at their own ceremonials, not our national days.

      Posted by waussie on 2006 01 28 at 11:51 PM • permalink

 

    1. #70 it’d have to be a bloody big flag to get round kim

      Posted by KK on 2006 01 29 at 01:05 AM • permalink

 

    1. Maybe Brendan would be happy if we swapped the Union Jack for the crescent on green of the moon god ….f**k that! I love our flag and the heritage it ties me to. Lately I have seen it flying all over the place and it fills my heart with pride every time.

      Posted by Tancred on 2006 01 29 at 01:15 AM • permalink

 

    1. I liked the crack that Jerry Seinfeld made some years back.  “I love your flag – Britain at night.”

      But please don’t change it!

      Posted by The Sanity Inspector on 2006 01 29 at 01:17 AM • permalink

 

    1. KK, I think he used the one flying at the Elizabeth St/Royal Pde roundabout.

      (Apologies to all non-Melbournians for the parochial reference…but I’m sure you can guess that it continued the fat joke theme)

      Posted by yarraside on 2006 01 29 at 02:46 AM • permalink

 

    1. Some side notes perhaps of interest.

      The “Royal Union Flag”—identical to the flag of the United Kingdom—is officially a national flag of Canada, and is specifically flown from public buildings on specific holidays.  And the maple leaf and the colors red and white were established as Canadian symbols by the British decades before the Maple Leaf Flag was designed.

      So Canada has a flag with no obvious references to its British heritage, but simultaenously has the British flag itself as a national symbol and a flag derived from British-Canadian traditional symbols.

      The Patriots in the U.S. initially took the Red Ensign and added six white stripes to create a symbol for the colonial armies.  This “Continental Flag” remained the standard for Patriot forces until June 14, 1777, where the “new constellation” replaced the British flag in the canton—almost a whole year after the war changed from a rebellion against Parliament into a war for independence.

      So the U.S. has a flag derived in evolutionary steps directly from a British flag during a bloody Revolution, and to this day clearly still showing traces of that origin (as can be seen by the fact the Red Ensign appearing over a building on the back of a Canadian banknote is mistaken by some Canadians for a U.S. flag).

      Posted by Warmongering Lunatic on 2006 01 29 at 04:10 AM • permalink

 

    1. In other British-Australian news, Radio Amsterdam is reporting that a third of Australians are opposed to being part of the monarchy. This curious little tidbit came after a report about demonstrations by people calling for the release of white rioters.

      Posted by Ian Deans on 2006 01 29 at 04:39 AM • permalink

 

    1. Correction: two-thirds

      Posted by Ian Deans on 2006 01 29 at 04:41 AM • permalink

 

    1. The Australian flag is fine and I don’t see any reason to get up tight about people showing the flag on holidays and at international events.  Here in the USA we put the national flag up all the time.  Additonally many States have flags that are much in use:  Hawaii and Texas use flags that were once the flag of independent nations,  while California, Arizona, New Mexico also have State flags that are usually flown along side the Stars & Stripes or directly under it if there is only one flag pole.  The California flag features a large bear on a white field, while Arizona features a rising sun and New Mexico features a red American Indian symbol on a yellow field.

      State flags are seen frequently in many western states and in the south. Maryland which uses the gaudy herald banner of the English Lord Baltimore who founded the Colony is one of the few eastern States where the State flag is commonly displayed.  In Canada there are provencial flags that are often used —that of Quebec is the most striking.  It was taken from a 17th century Royal French Naval flag—a blue cross on a white field with a blue Fleur de Ly in each of the four quarters.  Quebec naturally follows French paterns and symbols ignoring the British inspired symbols of the English speaking Canadians.

      A few Cities have flags that are are in common use:  New York uses one based on the Dutch national flag at the time of the city’s founding as New Amsterdam long before the British Navy siezed the town, while both Washington DC and Chicigo, Illinois use versions of George Washington’s coat of arms as their flags.  While there no doubt are State flags in Australia, I don’t recall seeing any during my visit, unlike Canada where the Provincial flags were a common sight.

      Twenty years ago when I was in England the Union Jack was seen everywhere, however my duaghter assures me that today soccer fans now wave the English Cross of St Geroge (a red cross on a white field) not the British Union Jack.  The Scots, Irish and Welsh have their familiar traditional national flags which they wave at sporting events.

      Posted by Angelino 101 on 2006 01 29 at 05:08 AM • permalink

 

    1. #60, 70 I believe Menzies’ nickname “Ming” was also an acknowlegment of his longivity as Australian prime minister – over 18 years, which gave rise to wry comparisons with the Chinese Ming dynasty.  The appellation ‘the merciless’ was a reference to his political clout and style

      Posted by hooligan on 2006 01 29 at 05:27 AM • permalink

 

    1. Here is the start of the Wikipedia entry on Robert Menzies (which I didn’t refer to before posting my entry – my post was based on near-forgotten history and politics studies):

      Sir Robert Gordon Menzies (20 December 1894–14 May 1978), Australian politician, was the twelfth and longest-serving Prime Minister of Australia, serving a total of eighteen and a half years in office from 1939 to 1941 and from 1949 to 1966. Menzies experienced a rapid rise to power, but his first term as Prime Minister ended in failure. After spending eight years in the political wilderness, Menzies founded the Liberal Party and made a successful comeback, proceeding to dominate the Australian political scene in the 1950s and early 1960s.

      Menzies was renowned as a brilliant speaker, both on the floor of Parliament and on the hustings. His nickname “Ming” derives from the traditional Scots pronunciation of his surname (“MING-iss”, although “MENZ-ees” is the prevalent pronunciation in Australia), but undoubtedly his imperious manner (and bushy eyebrows) also reminded some of the evil villain in the Flash Gordon serials, Ming the Merciless;

      BTW, I’m not claiming that Wikipedia is beyond reproach, just that somebody else shares my view of the background to his nickname.

      However, Hooligan is right in that the length of his premiership drew comparisons with the Ming Dynasty, which gave greater weight to the “Ming” nickname.

      Geez, anagallis, aren’t you glad you asked?

      Posted by yarraside on 2006 01 29 at 07:05 AM • permalink

 

    1. Scruby’s stooges——-try saying that seven times -terribly quickly.
      Rajan it’s sad that you consider yourself an outsider.How come?

      Posted by crash on 2006 01 29 at 09:47 AM • permalink

 

    1. Twenty years ago when I was in England the Union Jack was seen everywhere

      Really?  I’ve lived in England since 1981, and I don’t remember the Union Jack being any more commonly seen in the mid-80s than it is now.  Where did you visit, and when?

      Posted by jic on 2006 01 29 at 11:21 AM • permalink

 

    1. Rajan it’s sad that you consider yourself an outsider.How come?

      Reading around Rajan’s blog, he seems to be a Malaysian.  However, anyone who could write “Perhaps it is time the Allies face up to history and stop glossing over its Holocaust in Dresden” is perhaps best described as a citizen of the borderless state of Jackassia.

      Posted by jic on 2006 01 29 at 11:39 AM • permalink

 

    1. Man!

      The monolithic retardation of lefties is something to behold.

      No matter what free nation you look at, there are lefties wading around in some fever swamp acting out their hatred in the same friggin’ ways.

      Transnational indeed.

      Posted by monkeyfan on 2006 01 29 at 12:14 PM • permalink

 

    1. Monkeyfan, if you are referring to Rajan, he doesn’t seem to be a lefty.  Politically speaking, he seems to be on “our side”.

      Posted by jic on 2006 01 29 at 12:30 PM • permalink

 

    1. #78 i’d better check it out – need a new frock

      Posted by KK on 2006 01 29 at 01:02 PM • permalink

 

    1. Anyone who thinks our flag needs to be changed for the sake of change should be smacked in the face with this

      Posted by Rachel Corrie’s Flatmate on 2006 01 29 at 08:26 PM • permalink

 

    1. #75 KK

      Snap! The exact thought popped into my head, too.

      Posted by kae on 2006 01 30 at 08:55 AM • permalink

 

    1. lol ekw..
      Shocking news hot off the presses..
      Tennis ace (and all round great bloke )Baghdati’s dad was on tonight’s newses and he was wearing the Greek flag—(desperate withdrawal symptoms and cravings for my Caps). No -kidding- he was wrapped in it -enfolded,engulfed.It was knotted around his neck.
      The warmongering,empty hearted,capitalist,fascist,nation stateist,ignoramus,peasant,American bootlicking patriot.Somebody tell him.

      Posted by crash on 2006 01 30 at 09:29 AM • permalink

 

    1. #38: Since when outsiders can’t comment on anything? BTW, apt nick and I’ve been using IE for the past one month – noticed no problems with the layout of my site.

      #47: Ehh, well, there are like 190 countries in the world (191 if you count Lesotho which isn’t really a real country), we wallies prefer to remain ignorant. Besides, most of us wallies don’t know Australia is a federation (or have any idea what a federation is); no less the federation star 🙂

      Personally, I never really had much of a problem in differenciation (I have Australian and New Zealander family; part and parcel of being in an refugee race) – Australia has white stars, commie New Zealand has red stars.

      #56. Except in the tightest of definitions, the Australian commonwealth has never been a parliamentary democracy. Unlike UK, Australia started off with constitutional supremacy, not parliamentary supremacy. Heck, the composition of the Parliament mimics more closely the American Congress rather than Westminster, though the function of the House of Representations in the executive branch remains the same with the House of Commons.

      Well, if Hawaii can be technically a republic and still have the Union Jack in its canton, then why not a Republic of Australia? Then again, Hawaii have been under the United States far much more longer than it has under His/Her Majesty, wonder why don’t they have any symbol of United States in their state flag.

      #66. Ahh, yes. Australians should be flying the Red Ensign, as it is done traditionally, or not fly anything at all, as it is done even more traditionally :-).

      #68: All things right-wing is Nazi. Nevermind Nazi stood for “national socialism”.

      #72: Not all republicans are moonbats. I’m a republican! Though, I guess it’s different having 9 monarchs living in Malaysia rather than 1 monarch living in England.

      #82: Scotland, N. Ireland and Wales devolved. Quite in fact, Scottish MPs have say in the same English affairs English MPs don’t when it comes to Scotland. It is constituent country-ism; blame Labour.

      They do get a little peeve when people refer to UK as England (and the Irish when you refer to UK as Great Britain). Sort of like the Dutch when you refer the Netherlands as “Holland”.

      #85: “Rajan it’s sad that you consider yourself an outsider.How come?”

      Never stepped foot on Australia. Yet.

      Posted by Rajan R on 2006 01 31 at 05:47 AM • permalink

 

    1. About time you did then and see for yourself..

      Posted by crash on 2006 01 31 at 09:30 AM • permalink

 

    1. Still don’t care what you think Rajan.

      Posted by Anthony_ on 2006 01 31 at 10:43 PM • permalink

 

    1. He wrote

      “[a ]…declaration of war against the order of things which exist, against the state of things which exist, in a word, against the structure of the world which presently exists”.

      Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

      He described his program

      “…as having a ‘revolutionary creative will’ which had ‘no fixed aim, … no permanency, only eternal change…’”

      Trotsky? Mao? Nope. Hitler.

      The full name of the Nazi Party was: Die Nazionalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei (“The National Socialist German Worker’s Party). Does this sound Rightist? Not to me. I could go on pointing things out, like how Hitler, after signing the non-aggression pact with Stalin, mused about how close Communists and Nazis were in their aims and concepts.

      Hitler’s fascism did differ from accepted leftist ideology, including Communism, by being overtly racist. However, to go along with that, he believed in the German slogan Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz (Common use before private use). To me this all points to leftist concepts, not rightist. He was, I will grant, a reactionary, but a leftwing reactionary, as are the leftists who support extreme rightwing Islamism today. This Wahhabi-influenced Islamism is utterly reactionary. Support for them over democracy is a form of reaction. So those on the left who support, for instance, the Palestinians and vilify Israel, a true socialist democracy, are leftwing reactionaries. Hitler would be more inclined to be, in form, more like them than he would be like the actual mullahs and imams themselves.

      So Rajan, you’re totally and completely wrong. And I’ve worn this thread plumb out.

      Posted by ekw on 2006 01 31 at 11:31 PM • permalink

 

    1. Then again, Hawaii have been under the United States far much more longer than it has under His/Her Majesty, wonder why don’t they have any symbol of United States in their state flag.

      Most States don’t have “any symbol of United States” in their flag (a lot do, but most don’t).

      Posted by jic on 2006 01 31 at 11:38 PM • permalink

 

    1. ekw:  It’s strange that, after calling Rajan a jackass (and my opinion about him hasn’t changed), I find myself defending him for a second time.  However, I think you misunderstood what he meant:

      #68: All things right-wing is Nazi. Nevermind Nazi stood for “national socialism”.

      To me, it seems that he is complaining about lefties who think that all things right-wing are like Nazism, even though it stood for “National Socialism”.

      Posted by jic on 2006 01 31 at 11:51 PM • permalink

 

    1. I get it. jic, you’re right. Rajan, I apologize. I stand corrected. Actually, what I did was help solidify Rajan’s remarks. Sorry for misunderstanding the context of your complaint. The left has tried to disown Hitler since before WWII.

      Posted by ekw on 2006 02 01 at 01:08 AM • permalink

 

    1. #94 Rajan.
      No, Australians should be flying the Blue Ensign because it’s now officially available to all Australians, not just government entities. I was just explaining the history behind Australians flying the Red Ensign on their boats. Bob Hawke tried to stop even that.
      We will probably continue to follow the “tradition” of not flying anything at all if the recent rash of burning Australian flags comes to an end.
      For the moment, there is an evident increase in flag sales—presumably for waving, not burning.
      Also evident this year was increased interest in Australia Day.
      I wonder how much of this can be put down to the Cronullans’ attempt to get their beach back.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2006 02 01 at 08:59 PM • permalink

 

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