02 February 2011

Flags that have found their way to an op shop
Last Wednesday, it was as if the streets were full of state motorcades. But no, they weren’t motorcades; just scores of ordinary Australians driving around with flags attached to the sides of their vehicles.

Are we really prouder, more us-and-them and more showy about it than we used to be? Or have businesses merely found a new way to flog cheap tat to us on an annual basis and we’ve blindly followed them into this new world of product-driven patriotism? Of course, Australian flag merchandise has always existed; but as kitsch for tourists, not expressions of self-love.

These days, supermarkets and two dollar shops start filling up with Australian flag thongs, shorts and hats within days of the new year. And it always takes me by surprise: I still expect the red polyester lingerie and heart-shaped balloons to be next.

* The Herald-Sun hat, coming soon to an op shop near you! (But of course - there are millions of the things.)

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