What’s in a piece of cloth? Plenty, it seems…
Today, 26 January, is Australia Day, Australia’s national holiday. This day commemorates the 1788 arrival of the first settlers to begin the colony of New South Wales.
Many people, myself included, believe Federation Day (1 January) should be made Australia’s national holiday. On 1 January, 1901, Australia’s colonies united to form the country of Australia.
1 January (as opposed to 26 January):
a) includes all of Australia, not just New South Wales;
b) has had more influence on day to day modern Australia (via the constitution); and,
c) is less painful to Aboriginals, Australia’s first inhabitants
Relevance, influence and inclusiveness should be enough to change the national holiday.
Following the huge event that was 2005’s attempted Turkish flag burning in Mersin, Australia Day 2006 has brought two Australian flag burning stories:
Police seize burnt flag artwork
Police say they acted after members of the public complained about an exhibition called Proudly Un-Australian by artist Azlan McLennan.
His partially burnt flag was hanging outside of a Footscray gallery, in public view.
RSL denounces ‘un-Australian’ flag burning
The Queensland President of the RSL says he will be writing to politicians to urge them to make it a criminal offence to deface the Australian flag.
Police say a group of Indigenous people burned the flag at an ‘invasion day’ ceremony in inner Brisbane today.
Bill Mason says the act is un-Australian and the law needs to change.
“Well I’ll certainly be writing to our own State Parliament and the opposition parties to get a bipartisan or partisan agreement and if we can’t get it done federally, get it into Queensland anyway to make it an offence to deface, destroy national symbols,” he said.
“I think it’s absolutely disgusting and unfortunately it’s not punishable by law as an offence on its own, it may fall into some other category but it’s unfortunate.”
The RSL plays a valuable role in Australian society and the opinions of its representatives should be considered carefully and valued.
I’ve considered Bill Mason’s opinion on flag burning and I flat-out disagree with it.
This whinging over and censorship of the burning of Australian flags makes me want to go to Mersin’s main square and burn an Australian flag just for the hell of it.
If there was no hysteria about burning flags, I would never consider burning one myself.
Azlan McLennan’s artwork before it was seized:
And, I even agree with the Prime Miniature on the flag-burning!