Voice4Change

Empowering young Australians to be a clear Christian voice

Flag theory: identity, not racism

Adelaide taxi drivers flying the flag

I grew up with a strong sense of patriotism, very much identifying with the notion of nationhood. My brother and I used to wave Malaysian flags and jump up and down in front of the television watching our athletes compete in the Olympic games. Whenever a Malaysian won the rare medal, we would go on cloud nine. I swelled with pride to see them on a world stage!

We did not need great intellect or theological understanding to resonate with the soaring grandness of nationhood. It was part of our human makeup.

As Australia celebrates Australia Day this year, I am gently reminded of similar feelings of pride. Knowing that half of Adelaide’s taxi fleet will be flying the flag tomorrow awakens something in me. It reminds me of a childhood game, how my brother and I used to count the number of cars sporting Malaysian flags each National Day. Some cars sported more than six flags. What a sense of exuberance!

Vegemite celebrates Australia Day too!Tomorrow, I don’t need to be a citizen to rejoice with the nation that now hosts me, and to celebrate all that is good in this blessed land. I don’t need to be white. You don’t need to be white to celebrate Australia Day.

Amid all the Aussie Day conversation taking place—some pleasant and others not so, I hope we can focus on the meaning of the Australian flag and the celebration of nationhood.

If people have used the flag as a symbol of “race hate” or a “weapon”—to borrow the words of an Islamic leader—then clearly, they have missed the point of the flag. I am happy for my Aussie friends who fly their flag with pride. Maybe I’ll fly an Aussie flag too.

Flags indicate distinctive nationhood – an invention of God. (Deuteronomy 32:8). My prayer is that Australia will prosper as a nation as it pursues righteousness (Proverbs 14:34).

A few Australia Day links I enjoyed:

Jasmine Yow is FamilyVoice Communications Officer. She is a 23-year old Malaysian currently seeking Permanent Residency status.

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This entry was posted on January 25, 2012 by in Christianity & culture, Government & society and tagged , , , .

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