Opinion: Changing Our Flag Doesn’t Dishonour Our Veterans, It Honours All Of Us

We won’t be becoming a Republic anytime soon, that’s blaring obvious. The royals are still popular, and William and Kate are well liked, and their baby is very cute and all that. Polls show that a change to a Republic is not on the top of anybodies minds.

Something we can do, while remaining a Commonwealth country – just like Canada has done, and now New Zealand seems ready to do is change our flag to better represent our modern and constantly changing country.

We are not a British colony anymore, or part of the great “British Empire”. We remain close to England, as we should. It remains part of our past, and our future. However we do not need their flag stuck in the corner of ours. We need something that better represents our location, culture, history and Indigenous population who remain totally ignored when it comes to our nations flag.

One of the arguments made by those who oppose a change to the flag is that diggers in wars “served and died under that flag”. It is true our flag was used during previous wars, however so was the Union Jack. The main issue with that argument is that they weren’t fighting for a piece of cloth, they were fighting for the people and ideals the flag represents. Changing what is on the flag doesn’t undermine, dishonour or discredit what they did for our country. Canada changed their flag, and there is no doubt that their present war fighters feel any different fighting under the Maple Leaf than the Union Jack.

There are some great ideas floating around, any choice should be made based on pleasantness, and appropriateness. But also how it represents what we believe our ideals, history and location are. Clearly the Southern Cross should remain, keeping an iconic part of our current flag while also representing our location on the planet. 

Our Indigenous population should be represented, something that highlights their own special and individual culture is important to be central to any new flag. A example is below, highlighting the great Indigenous art.

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Or else adding some elements that reflect Indigenous artefacts such as the shape of the boomerang, as well as the colours from the Aboriginal flag could also be added.

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AusFlag, a Twitter account calling for a new flag has some other ideas and examples of what our flag could look like.

Whatever the end result is, it’s time to have a proper debate about our flag.

Travel: I Miss America

I spent three months (90 days exactly) in the U.S. over Christmas and into the new year. I spent the time staying with my partners family in Los Angeles, and meeting up with people I’ve spoken to for ages, but never met. It was a lot of fun, as well as being a tremendous learning experience on many different levels.

It made me realise that Australia isn’t perfect, I am capable of doing things  I didn’t think I could, and that stuff is usually smaller than you think it would be (Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is tiny).

I loved Los Angeles, it is fantastic, it’s always sunny – but not hot, the people are nice (the customer service is way beyond anything we are capable of in Australia) and living in a non-tourist area allowed me to see how different people, from different cultures operate.

I spent a few days in San Francisco, it was the highlight of my trip, I loved the city, it was very clean, modern and had the best weather – cool in the morning, transforming into sunny and warm in the afternoon. The bay is spectacular and I would love to go back anytime.

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(I’m not usually that chubby – blame the food)

I miss America for those and more reasons, my partners family is all there, I have friends there, and I miss the culture, especially the lifestyle in Los Angeles, but most of all, the food – the food is awesome.

Things I Hate #2: The Heat

It has been over a week of 30c/86F degree days, and I’m completely over it. I’m never a fan of hot weather, but it’s even worse on work/school days.

Travelling to and from classes each day, in a stinking hot train, waiting on platforms for them to open the damn train, as it just sits there. Air conditioning not working, then schlepping up and down stairs, sprinting to air conditioned rooms, to only have to face it all again on the way home.

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image: smh.com.au

It’s not good, in fact what makes it worse is I missed most of summer, having been overseas. So stepping into the furnace from winter elsewhere, is a bit of a shock to the system.

Relief is apparently on the way come Thursday. It can’t come soon enough, even those crazy friends of mine who love hot weather, are over it already.

Here’s hoping it’s a cold and wet winter ahead, we all need it.