Patriotic Canadians show their true colours.
Patriotic Canadians show their true colours. Shirley Sinclair

Yearning for more patriotic signs

LATELY I've had a yearning to show more of my patriotic heart and soul without fear or favour.

I've only recently returned from a month in Canada, where I was dazzled by ordinary Canadians' display of their distinctive red-and-white flag with the maple leaf emblem. In some areas, we spotted the flag proudly unfurled from front porches or atop gabled roofs, waving in the summer breeze, on just about every second house. Some homes even joined with government buildings and corporations in displaying the area's provincial (state) flag.

As I was driving out of my street on my return from overseas, I noticed for the first time that a large Australian flag was flying on the side of a nearby neighbour's home. I believe it may be the only one in our small estate. I wondered, then, when so many of us call ourselves proud Australians, that flying the flag isn't more commonplace in the suburbs.

Australia Day and Anzac Day certainly will see us drag out the Aussie flags we have lying in the bottom of the kitchen drawers to attach to our cars. We put the green-and-gold boxing kangaroo in the front yard and drape the red-white-and-blue around us from our bucket hats and sunglasses to our shorts and thongs (whether or not we should change the flag and what date we should commemorate Australia Day are completely different debates for another day).

I fear everyday Aussies fail to show our true patriotic colours except for the "big occasions" - on the international sporting field, for example.

Do you fear backlash for showing your patriotism?

This poll ended on 07 August 2018.

Current Results

Not at all, I'm proud and not afraid to show it.

66%

A little, I don't want to come across as unwelcoming.

0%

Yes, some people have ruined it for the rest of us.

33%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Which brings me to my next problem, which also surely would see me labelled a bogan or nedneck.

I don't have a tattoo, but if I did, it could only be the Southern Cross.

Any night I find myself outside under the stars, I am obligated by the childhood wonder still inside me to look for the Southern Cross in the sky. And if I ever went down the inking path, the kite-like celestial symbol would be what I'd want.

But the Southern Cross tattoo, car sticker and T-shirt these days seem to send up the red flag that such openly public displays of patriotism are bogan at the very least, and might border on something more sinister - maybe an unwelcome attitude towards foreigners or those who are "different" culturally or physically - in its extreme.

I'm not sure how that impression came about.

But some days I yearn for the simple acceptance of patriotic gestures, and I'm not moving to Canada any time soon.



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