By our culture reporter
Those hoping for a new, uniquely Australian flag soon are certain to have their hopes dashed because of a belief among many “kind but misguided” people that any new design must have a strong Aboriginal theme.
That’s the opinion of Professor of Social Demography at Queensland University of Technology Ima Whitey (pictured) who has predicted the current design is unlikely to change in her lifetime.
Professor Whitey was married briefly to fellow social researcher Hugh MacKay – they have co-authored several texts on Australian cultural change and eggplant recipes – and she is also one of Australia’s leading psephologists although she has never been charged.
In an wide-ranging and exclusive interview with The Bug, Professor Whitey said: “Any flag with a strong Aboriginal theme has Buckley’s chance of success against the current ensign in any popular vote or referendum.
“And that’s likely to be the choice put to the people one day because I don’t think any government would have the guts to omit the current flag from any popular vote, despite the fucked-up way the Kiwis went about it.
“There’s not a racist bone in my body but sadly as we all know Australians are among the most racist people in the world,” Professor Whitey said.
“I’m just as proud as these ‘starry-eyed, left-wing do-gooders’ of the amazing culture of our darkies or first peoples: 40,000 years or more of a sophisticated nomadic lifestyle perfectly honed to this wide brown land of ours.
“But my research shows clearly that a solid majority of Australians will not support a new flag unless it clearly reflects the multicultural nature of our nation as it is now – almost a fifth of the way through the 21st Century.
“Any new flag has to nail that basic reality of modern Australian life: not the many thousands of years before 1788; not the colonial years that followed so heavily influenced by British culture; not the big influx of Wops, Dagos and Polacks during the 1950s for the Snowy Mountain scheme and other infrastructure builds.”
Professor Whitey puffed patiently on her pipe before pushing forward in her chair. “Pull those curtains, young fella, and I’ll show you what I mean,” she said as she turned a projector on her desk towards a white wall to her right.
“Here’s a design cooked up by an academic down south (pictured at top). I actually know this guy, an ANU academic by the name of Dr John Blaxland. He means well but what a fucking idiot. He calls it the Reconciliation Flag and it features the traditional Aboriginal colours of red, yellow and black, a seven-point star that represents Federation, and 250 small yellow dots, representing the distinct indigenous cultures that occupied this land.
“Fuck me roan. It looks like it was designed by a committee of 50, doesn’t it? You could get a fucking doctorate in Australian Aboriginal history, customs and languages if you understood all the strands to it.
“And can you image some poor kid in grade 4 trying to draw it. They’d finish high school before they finished it.
“But in essence what does it say? That the Abos have lived under the Southern Cross for yonks. Forget Buckleys. That design’s got a snowball’s chance in hell of ever being our national flag, let alone reconciling any fucking thing. If they think that’s going to win a popular vote, tell them they’re dreamtiming.
“A lot of other designs are simpler but still seem to have equally captured the imagination of those starry-eyed, left-wing do-gooders I talked about earlier.
“Take these two. (pictured right and below) What do they say to the average person? Same thing as the prof’s one: that Aboriginals have lived under the southern cross for tens of thousands of years.
“Do you think that’s going to resonate with all the chinks, slant-eyes and gooks that have made Oz their home since the 70s?”
“Or the entire melting pot of peoples who have contributed to making modern Australia what it is?”
Professor Whitey said she had some simple words for those who are proud of this nation’s Aboriginal origins and think that any new flag must celebrate that or recognise in some way the damage done to our first peoples and their culture since white settlement.
“And they are the words written by that guy from The Seekers for We are Australian.
We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We’ll share a dream and sing with one voice
I am, you are, we are Australian
I am, you are, we are Australian
“Any new flag has to sum that up in a single image. Maybe just the Southern Cross? The outline of a kangaroo. Go down the Canada path and maybe a wattle blossom?”
“But if you think a flag design has to say well done, darkies, or sorry for the shit that’s gone down since 1788, then you’d better get used to that fucking awful Union Jack staying in the corner for a long, long time.
“I have an identical twin brother – rather handsome brute I must say – who has an almost pathological hatred of the Union Jack taking up the dominant quarter of the current Australian flag. And that’s despite our dad being English and I know he is a shameless Anglophile. And UKophile, if such a word exists.
“He would nearly love to see a new flag sans the Union Jack before that lying rodent John Howard carks it, just to show the awful little cunt that he didn’t win after all.
“But whenever he sees good-hearted and well-meaning friends he loves to bits gushing over some new Abo-themed design that hits social media, thereby muddying the waters for any future popular vote, he despairs, he really does.
“And I know that, like me, he doesn’t have a racist bone in his entire body.”