As Bernard Zuel’s article mentions, there were many flag bearers at the BDO, but not I don’t agree with Zuel that this was a postive statement of unity. I saw lots of frightening behaviour at the Big Day Out, including flag wearers pushing into an ATM line, and people berating them for being ‘unaustralian’ and them saying that they were more Australian than any of us. one person was asking people to kiss the flag he was wearing, and people who refused got a punch in the face for their troubles.
My whole like I’ve looked at US culture’s overblown love for a flag, and pinning it to everything they got…and found it funny. Homes that I’ve known who have Flags on display are declaring their deep ties to that country’s core, usually through fighting and the military. It is not a fashion accesory, and you’re better than no one for wearing it as a t-shirt. When you start seeing flags, that’s when nationalism is getting out of control.
And I’d like to think those kids who were wearing the flag are politically active people and are thinking about what this country CAN BE, COULD BE and SHOULD BE, and not loving what this country HAS BEEN or IS NOW. Henry Rollins was almost the only person to address this onstage. Why do the majority of Australia’s young people accept a vision of made by Australia’s old people?