aspose file tools*
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes Australia Day... (and flagwaving in general) Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "Australia Day... (and flagwaving in general)" Watch "Australia Day... (and flagwaving in general)" New topic
Author

Australia Day... (and flagwaving in general)

Alan Wanwierd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Yesterday (26th) Was Australia Day (Public holiday with 4th July style flag waving)

I spent the morning at my Citizenship Ceremony (I am now a fully naturalised Australian).

Whilst I was happy enough to go through all the bureacratic steps to get my right to vote and right to a passport etc etc - I still cannot get into the idea of all the pompous flag waving and pledging of allegiance and find it all a little distastful.

I have a theory that Europeans are less into flag waving and open displays of patriotism than many other groups of people because of politcal connotations:

There was a guy in Germany some years ago who waved a flag around and said "My country is the best in the world - and my people are superior to all others"... and after some time it was decided that this guy was not nice!... Memory of that still lingers and I think that Patriotism is unfashionable for that reason. Flag waving has become a symbol of the extreme xenophobe - it sends a message of a distasteful social egotism.

I belive that Americans are very into displays of patriotic flag waving - but what about other countries? Do other places in the world display their flag with patriotic fever?
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15300
    
    6

I see nothing egotistical about displaying the flag of your country. Publicly chanting about how one's country is better than anyone else's is a bit much for my taste. But just hanging a flag outside my home? I have several neighbors that hang the flag of Mexico outside their home here in the USA. I have no problems with that.


GenRocket - Experts at Building Test Data
Bhau Mhatre
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 11, 2003
Posts: 199
What's Australia day for? Never heard of Australian revolution or Australian war of Independence

Isn't there a difference between the "4th of July American flag waving" and "26th January Australian flag waving"
One being end of colonialization, another for the begning of it?

Nice co-incidence about 26th Jan, BTW.


-Mumbai cha Bhau
Alan Wanwierd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Originally posted by Bhau Mhatre:
What's Australia day for? Never heard of Australian revolution or Australian war of Independence

Isn't there a difference between the "4th of July American flag waving" and "26th January Australian flag waving"
One being end of colonialization, another for the begning of it?

Nice co-incidence about 26th Jan, BTW.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Day

Yes I suppose Australia day is celebrating the start of colonization - but it is a significant historical date - when the first fleet arrived in Sydney in 1788. Generally now its just a celebration of all things Australian. Indepenence started by consent after referrendum and agreement of British Government and all former Asutralian colonies on 1st January 1901 - but since 1st January is already a public holiday, it'd be tough to move the holiday.

There was no war of independence, but Australians have a habit of celebrating great losses and failures:

1) Australia day - All native australians invaded, loss of land, language and culture...

2) ANZAC day - Celebration of the completely shambollic invasion of Gallipoli 1915, where thousands of Australians needlessly got mowed down by Turkish machine guns due to a communications screw up with the English gun ships (who were supposed to be providing covering fire).

Other widely celebrated major historical figures include:
Burke & Wills - Explorers who first travelled from South to North coast and proved the lack of existance of an internal sea - Perished on their return journey. They had inadaquqte supplies and were generally incompetent to attempt such a journey!
Ned Kelly - Common petty thief who got caught and was hanged.
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:
I still cannot get into the idea of all the pompous flag waving and pledging of allegiance and find it all a little distastful.



Do not fear to have pride. Do not fear to celebrate the choice you have made in becoming an Australian citizen.

But if you decided to become an Autralian citizen for purely economic or other unprincipled reasons, I can understand and sympathize with your embarassment of flag waving. As for the Europeans, for the most part they live under the long and dark shadow of history. Instead join us, enjoy life, we who live in the New World, to live basking in the sun of new era where a new way of living is possible.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Pledging allegiance to one's country serves as a reminder that citizens have responsibilities to the body politic, and not just themselves.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:
Yes I suppose Australia day is celebrating the start of colonization - but it is a significant historical date - when the first fleet arrived in Sydney in 1788. Generally now its just a celebration of all things Australian.
I wonder how the aborigines feel about the date.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Alan Wanwierd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Originally posted by herb slocomb:
..if you decided to become an Autralian citizen for purely economic or other unprincipled reasons, ..


My reasons are many (none of them economic) - you be the judge of whether they are unprincipled:

1) I want security from eviction! - No matter what changes happen in immigration law I want to be able to travel freely and return to my home and my daughter (who is an Australian by birth). As a British Citizen with a Permanent Residency visa the *current* rules would be satisfactory for this - but I have no confidence in the rules remaining the same. The only truly secure arrangement is for me to become a citizen of Australia (whilst also remaining a British citizen).

2) Although I despise the compulsory voting arrangement in australia, (I believe it dilutes the quality of democray), I would like to be able to vote when I feel so inclined (at other times I shall be forced to enter a spoilt ballot to register my distaste). I have always, (since arriving) been a high tax payer in Australia - I think it only fair that I have my input into the government rules and regulations under which I must live.

3) When I travel, I want to be able to go through the "Fast-track" passport control queue everytime!! - So when I show up in the UK I'll flash my British passport and when I return to Australia I'll flash the Australian one!


..of course there is a downside - I may now be called for Jury service, and can be fined if I forget to show up and vote on polling day. Also I supose theres the possibility of being draftedinto the military against my will - if that sort of thing happens [extremely unlikely]. But its a brave military that tries to get me involved!! Unfit, unsuited... unmotivated - so I'm not really that worried.

Originally posted by herb slocomb:
....join us, enjoy life, we who live in the New World, to live basking in the sun of new era where a new way of living is possible...

I'd rather bask in the glory of knowing that I can live in a world where nationality is not an issue, where I can travel freely and not need to jump through bureacratic hoops just to participate in our global society! I would like to say I'm not a citizen of any country - I am a citizen of humanity!

(Bring on the Global government mentioned in another thread!! I'll sign up! )


Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I wonder how the aborigines feel about the date

They are, understandably, quite unimpressed with the whole deal!! There are lame attempts at creating "reconciliation ceremonies" and trying to involve indigenous communities in celebrating their Australian 'ness, but it smacks of tokenism - particularly as everywhere people are waving national flags that still have a British "Union Jack" in the corner!
[ January 26, 2005: Message edited by: Adrian Wallace ]
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:

My reasons are many (none of them economic) - you be the judge of whether they are unprincipled!


OK, as I said earlier, I sympathize with you at being embarrassed at all the flag waving. You are simply a citizen for convenience; obviously nothing to get emotional about. I'm sure Australia has more to be proud about than anything you have mentioned thus far, but it is your legitimate choice not to associate the country or yourself with such reasons.
[ January 27, 2005: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
Nick George
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 04, 2004
Posts: 815
Originally posted by Bhau Mhatre:
One being end of colonialization


Bleh... tell that to the Native Americans.


I've heard it takes forever to grow a woman from the ground
Alan Wanwierd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Originally posted by herb slocomb:
...Thankyou for sharing your embarassement with us in order to gain sympathy. I'm sure Australia has more to be proud about than anything you have mentioned thus far, but it is your legitimate choice not to associate the country or yourself with such reasons....


Gain sympathy? - I was actually asking if anywhere (other than "new world") got so into flag-waving patriotism to see whether my awkwardness is shared by others. I require no sympathy.

I am *not* embarassed to be Australian and if you think I am then you have misunderstood me.

As for Australia having things to be proud of - yes they(we?) have plenty to be proud of (and I share that pride in many things). I think the flat class-less social structure of Australia and their(our?!) continued commitment to try and support the weaker members of society is to be applauded. I think the modern cosmopolitan nature of Australian cities has many unique features that are worth celebrating the integration of asian european and other cultures has produced a dynamic and lively country. The landscapes and natural aspects of the country are truly wonderful and managed and respected in a sensitive and sustainable way. Australian socieies have a sense of civic pride the likes of which I have never seen in Europe. The community qualities of many areas never ceases to amaze me with people offering their services, often for no reward, just to help out (e.g. surf lifesavers). All these things and many more are great reasons for me to be in Australia...

I grew up in a world where open display of national patriotism were discouraged and seen as politcally insensitive. Pride in _my_ nation is something I do have and I can understand others having - I'd just rather not see that expressed in open public displays. (May be thats my repressed British 'stiff upper lip' nature shining through! )
Rema Remulta
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 51
Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:
...but what about other countries? Do other places in the world display their flag with patriotic fever?


In my country, some people do as well the waving of flag publicly and i don't find it a little distasteful or unpleasant to see them doing that. Or other nationalities i've seen them doing that too like in international games where they are cheering on their respective national teams by waving their own flags, carrying and displaying them; isn't that just one way of showing great pride and appreciation to your native land? For me, it is, though I know this may just be a simple way or small act of showing great love to your country but no matter how small that is if it's done for a good cause, this wouldn't be a problem. But if it's done in a way that you mentioned about your experience with a German guy, i would never think that's a responsible way of displaying patriotism because that act to me is a clear sign of showing arrogance and superiority, a disrespect to his fellow countrymen, misusing the name of the country, as not all of them do not think the same way he is and this should be discouraged and not to be followed. We practice freedom, we do what is based on our choices and decisions but we have to do it in a responsible way. Forget about the memory you had with a German guy, that's not nice to remember. Just think about that some crazy, stupid, arrogant people do also exist in this world regardless of who they are, where they are from...there's nothing we can do about it, what we can do is to keep doing what is good and right and without stepping on anyone's right.

Cheers,
Rema
Scott William Sinclair
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 12, 2004
Posts: 8
Hi,

I have to agree with Adrian, I'm also a Brit (from Scotland, currently living in Austria) and I've allways been generally against patriotism and flag waving, for the reasons Adrian mentioned. Extremism, WWII,etc. But we could also have this from the problems we have had more recently in Britain, with the IRA, and football holiganism, which causes a lot of problems in especially concerning the Scottish protestant Rangers team and the catholic Celtic team. If patriotism is only "love of ones country" then I am 100% ok with that, but if it is "my country is the best, ie better than yours" then I am totally against that.
Dave Lenton
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
Originally posted by Scott William Sinclair:

If patriotism is only "love of ones country" then I am 100% ok with that, but if it is "my country is the best, ie better than yours" then I am totally against that.


Absolutely.

Its hard to understate the psychological effect that WWII had upon much of Europe. Even now, generations later, people are still slightly wary of nationalism and patriotism. It is a real shame - in some countries, especially the UK, the flag has become seen as a symbol that is associated with the far right. Germany also suffers from a concern about seeming too patriotic. In the UK people are almost ashamed to fly the Union Flag (Union Jack).

I think this is why much of Europe is so mad about international sporting events, in particular football. It gives us a chance to be proud of our country without getting too political about it. Anyone who saw pictures of the Greek celebrating their Euro 2004 win will agree that flag waving is not entirely extinct in Europe!

The UK is a bit of a special case anyway as most people there feel more associated towards their nation (e.g. England, Wales, Scotland or N Ireland) then towards their country, and are far more likely to display a flag for one of these then the flag of the UK.
[ January 27, 2005: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]

There will be glitches in my transition from being a saloon bar sage to a world statesman. - Tony Banks
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Scott William Sinclair:
but if it is "my country is the best, ie better than yours" then I am totally against that.


To a large extent even I am embarassed and uncomfortable if patriotism reaches the "better than yours" level (amazing since I know on some level we are "better" ) But from the orignal post it did not seem it had reached that level. If there are things you can be proud of, and if it is the socially and culturally approved thing to do in your society, then maybe you should make an effort to flag wave ? Perhaps to show solidarity with your fellow citizens and affirm your common values. Not flag waving can be interpretated in a more negative way if it is contrary to the cultural norms of your society. Such things as flag waving can reduce social friction, increase cooperation, and generally make the society more pleasant.
Bhau Mhatre
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 11, 2003
Posts: 199
Nick George: Bleh... tell that to the Native Americans

Ouch!
(I was comparing the "dates" selected for waving rather than the "action" itself. And from the perspective of the migrants not the natives.)

May be, this year, they can select their own president and declare November 6th as the Australian flag waving day? That will be a little less harsh on the natives, hopefully.
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
I'm one of those who doesn't care for excessive overt patriotism, such as too much flag waving or enforced pledges of allegiance. While I don't object to them in moderation, I think these things can provide social pressure to go along with government views that, if one actually thought about them, might be seen to be ill conceived or even malignant. To me, true patriotism is about helping the government achieve its worthwhile civic goals, whether that means putting money in the parking meter to help the government maximize the public benefits from limited parking space, or risking one's life in a lifetime of military service to help protect one's nation and fellow citizens.

Adrian Wallace:

(Bring on the Global government mentioned in another thread!! I'll sign up! )

It strikes me that any ills of flag waving or pledges of allegiance are far more dangerous if the government is global. At least with national governments, one has a chance of escaping to another nation if things get too bad.
Alan Wanwierd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Originally posted by Warren Dew:
.. At least with national governments, one has a chance of escaping to another nation if things get too bad...


or another way of looking might be that if my biggest oppressors are not in fact governments, but are multinational corporations, then the protection of national governments can simply be sidestepped by the corporate oppressors moving elsewhere. Only a truly global government could have sufficient power to hold global corporations in check.
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:


or another way of looking might be that if my biggest oppressors are not in fact governments, but are multinational corporations


I hate it when multinational corporations oppress me by providing the goods and services I need at prices I can afford but can't get from local corporations. I hate it when they provide jobs in places where people can't find any other better jobs or ways to survive. I hate it when they declare war and kills thousands of people. I hate it when they execute political prisoners. I hate when they confiscate my hard earned money to waste on pork barrel projects. Yes, they are the problem, not governments. :roll:
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Adrian Wallace:

or another way of looking might be that if my biggest oppressors are not in fact governments, but are multinational corporations

Honestly, Adrian, Macs work perfectly well. The only chains that bind you to Microsoft are the chains of your own mind....
Dave Lenton
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
Originally posted by Warren Dew:
While I don't object to them in moderation, I think these things can provide social pressure to go along with government views that, if one actually thought about them, might be seen to be ill conceived or even malignant. To me, true patriotism is about helping the government achieve its worthwhile civic goals,


It is indeed a problem when people see criticism of the government as "unpatriotic". This is especially true during war time (or perceived war time). While it can be a little over the top sometimes, a little bit of paranoia and distrust in the government can be a good thing.

Part of this problem seems to come from an unspoken line of reasoning that some people have, going something like "Country X voted in Y, therefore Y represents all the people of X. Anyone that disagrees with X is therefore disagreeing with all of the Xians. Anyone disagreeing with all of the Xians is clearly an enemy of the Xians". By this idea any person that speaks up against the policies of the government is seen as an enemy of the country, even if this isn't explicitly spoken.


At least with national governments, one has a chance of escaping to another nation if things get too bad.


I expect the first world government will sit in a board room in Wall St rather than a UN chamber*

* Although I'd personally not like either, I can't see a single system working for the entire world.
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Wow, interesting when threads have a life of their own.

Adrian, welcome to the party
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Dave Lenton:
It is indeed a problem when people see criticism of the government as "unpatriotic".


It depends on the nature of the criticism.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
I'm not sure what is wrong with thinking that your country is the best in the world. It is sort of like thinking that your wife is the prettiest woman in the world!
 
permaculture playing cards
 
subject: Australia Day... (and flagwaving in general)