Flagging interest

The Sunday Telegraph, 1 October 2000.

By Leo Schofield

In white-picket-fence America, the Stars and Stripes flutter from flagpoles in every second suburban front yard.

The Games have encouraged many people to do likewise - although it must be unclear, especially to visitors, whether the Aussie flag is the red, white and blue one with the Union Jack in the corner, or a green flag with a boxing kangaroo on it.

Neither, of course, is acceptable: the former is too aligned with a colonial past that has long since become irrelevant to most of us (with the possible exception of the PM, Pauline Hanson and Kerry Jones). The other lacks solemnity and links this nation too closely to sport.

If we want a flag that grew from history, then it′s the Eureka flag. If we want one that acknowledges our maturity, and an even more ancient history, then it′s the Aboriginal flag.

If, for political reasons, neither of these is acceptable, the simplest course is to rejig the present flag, removing the thing from the top left-hand corner and enlarging the stars.