Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Australian Flag at The Big Day Out

Organisers of this week's Big Day Out concert have previously issued a statement that they did not want anyone to bring the Australain flag to the concert. Their reasoning was well-meaning: they wanted to avoid the possibility of trouble stemming from a few people who might use the flag as a visible rallying point and who want to cause trouble.

Such use aof the flag, and trouble, had occurred last year at the Cronulla riots. There were also people from far right-wing Nationalist groups trying to recruit some of the people involved.

The problem is not with the Australian flag. The problems lie with the people and concepts that the flag represents a white Australia, and that it should be used as a rallying point in the same way, and for similar purposes, as the Nazi flag. These concepts and the people who preach them are inappropriate, and not what our flag represents. It represents a "commonwealth" of states, where people work for the betterment of the country and all its people.

The organisers of The Big Day Out concert have retreated somewhat from their earlier statements, and are discouraging, rather than banning, people bringing the flag. Friday is Australia Day - a day when all Australians should join together and celebrate; recognising that Indiginous Australians predated white settlement, but that all Australians work and live together in a multicultural society. Let's party! Be Happy.

The Analyst