Sends a shiver down my spine, every time I see what is effectively half of the Australian flag, emblazoned on flesh in sub-dermal ink, or plastered on the rear window of a car or ute. Have we forgotten the Cronulla riots already? Or are we actually celebrating Australia’s confirmed bedrock of racism when we let the world know that we are ‘proud Aussies’?
Along with bumper stickers declaring “Fuck off, We’re Full”, “I Grew Here, You Flew Here”, or “If You Don’t Like It, Go Back Where You Came From”, the Southern Cross symbol is now informing us all that the limb/torso or vehicle of whatever Crux exhibitor you are confronted with at any given time probably belongs to a rabid racist who might very well knife you in the gut if he thinks you like falafel.
Co-opting, or corrupting part of the flag, especially as part of a cultural phenomenon rebounding off the back of race riots, has weakened, cheapened, and distorted the symbolism of that flag. It’s turned half of it into our own lame little version of a Nazi swastika. And it’s fostered a latent and untapped racism in diverse cross-sections of society, in individuals who may otherwise never have formed any feelings of ill will toward ‘other races’. Healthy national pride (if there is such a thing) and idle patriotism have been engaged and re-geared to the task of stoking the fires of hatred of difference.
This shit’s gotta stop.
P.S. – There are times when a Southern Cross sticker on a car window is actually funny, e.g., plastered on a small Korean car, or on a Mahindra pick-up. I can laugh, or just be puzzled, or be comforted by the knowledge that not all Southern Crosses belie a racist pig, sometimes they just highlight an element of stupidity…