“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





19 January 2012


Consistently the most popular piece on DRINKSTER is the essay I publish each year on Australia's national day, January 26th.

Australia Day celebrates the 1788 landing of Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet at what became known as Port Jackson, in present-day Sydney.

Phillip, and his eleven ships full of bedraggled convicts and troopers, took  ‘formal possession’ of what was then known as New Holland, founding the Colony of New South Wales on behalf of the British Crown.

Many original Australians justly regard the celebration as Invasion Day, or Occupation Day.

As it has morphed gradually over the years, this essay has become a focus on the Australian flag.

The only thing I have to add this year is the flag above.  This is a combination of Harold Thomas's tricolour (first raised in Victoria Square, Adelaide on 12 July 1971, and proclaimed as the Australian Aboriginal Flag on 14 July 1995), and the Eureka Flag (first publicly raised at the miners' uprising in Ballarat on 29 November 1854).

On that occasion rebel leader Peter Lalor became the first person to swear an oath on a non-British flag on Australian soil.

"We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other, and fight to defend our rights and liberties," Lalor treacherously declared.

Over many years of shameful neglect, the original Eureka flag (below) was ripped to bits by souvenir hunters.  It's remnant has just been painstakingly restored in Adelaide, which took over a year, and has now returned to Ballarat, where it can be viewed.

I have not been able to discover the identity of the artist who made the beautiful combination flag above.  I would be delighted if any of you can assist me with this.

If it didn't incorporate a Christian cross, I'd be nominating it as the official replacement for the flag we already have, which includes five of the bloody horrid things.

 Click to read Australia Day: Annual Oz Flag Thing.  Please make a comment!  


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the top one but you're right .... it's the Christian cross imposed on the aboriginal flag.