The Australian flag isn't Australian, it's British. That big union jack in the corner has as much relevance to us as other typically British things like snow, Marmite, a bung economy, the Royal Family, talking about the weather, being miserable and Olympic Gold Medals.
The British don't even respect us. Their media takes any and every opportunity to tease and belittle us, but their media does that to everyone, as they're predominately a bunch of hateful, headline hungry, truth ignoring, bitter, chain smoking coffin chasers. With silly voices.
While in the UK I was constantly called a 'stupid convict'. To which I replied, 'You sailed halfway around the world, discovered a land of warm weather and beaches, dropped off the convicts and went home. I don't think I'm the one descended from idiots.'
Like many people I've got some British heritage, but I've got ancestors from sixteen different countries. The end result is that I don't feel like I'm from anywhere, apart from Australia. Which is exactly where we are, so why can't we have a flag that reflects that?
Sure the British colonised this country, but name another country whose flag is so devoted to explorers? Or a colonising force? Do the Chilean, Scottish, Indian or American flags pay homage to their colonisers? No. There is New Zealand, but if you're using New Zealand to win any argument, I'd say you've lost that argument.
Some say the British deserve credit for 'discovering' Australia, but there were people already here, and everyone in Australia arrived from somewhere else, no matter if it was hundreds of thousands of years ago, or two weeks ago. To be fair, and in Australia we're all about fairness, we could represent all those different groups on the flag, however it'd be a little crowded. If you stared at that flag for too long, it'd probably give you a seizure, or you'd see a three-dimensional dolphin.
It doesn't worry me that the Australian flag is sometimes used as a symbol for racism disguised as 'national pride'. It's a statistical fact that people who display an Australian flag on Australia Day are more likely to be racist. That doesn't mean everyone who displays a flag or has national pride is racist. It's just a symbol, and is invested with subsequent meaning by how people use it. The racists could've picked anything. For example, more appropriate would be the Bundy Bear, an empty pack of smokes, Shane Warne, teenage pregnancy or a jet ski.
It is a shame though, that the Australian flag sometimes hangs out with racists. Those cheaply produced, easy to tear, highly flammable and extremely disposable Australian flags really should keep better company.
I don't think borderline navy blue is the right colour for the flag either. It traps heat, so isn't appropriate for our climate, and we don't wear much navy, apart from in our socks. Why not choose some colours that better reflect the predominately bright, striking and stark beauty of this country? Maybe earthy reds, browns and yellows?
One solution would be the Aboriginal Flag. It's colour appropriate. And why not pay a little tribute to the indigenous population?
That's my preference, but as long as we get rid of what we've got, I'm happy with anything. Even that green and gold boxing kangaroo, which in my opinion should've never been allowed to escape the 80s. As an added bonus, changing the flag will make everyone with an Australian flag or Southern Cross tattoo look even more stupid, not that they need the help.
Our current flag is an almost blank and blue canvas stamped with a British trademark. We were made in Britain? No, British people came to Australia, and once they were here helped shape this country. Along with everyone else who's come before and since, for better and worse, and I wish our flag reflected that.
Let's have a competition, let's vote on it, let's employ a team of artists, I don't care. Whatever we do, can we please just pick something else?
Xavier Toby is a writer and a comedian. Gig details and more articles available at:Suggest a correction