WATERCOOLER: Does flying an Aussie flag make you racist?

It looks like a sign of Australian pride, but flying the national flag on your car could mean you are a racist, according to recent research.
It looks like a sign of Australian pride, but flying the national flag on your car could mean you are a racist, according to recent research.

IF YOU fly an Australian flag on your car, you have a higher chance of being a racist.

This is the finding of a recent University of Western Australia study.

University sociologist and anthropologist Professor Farida Fozdar and a team of assistants surveyed 513 people at Australia Day fireworks on Perth's Swan River foreshore last year to investigate a possible link between flying the Aussie flag on one's vehicle and racist attitudes.

Survey participants were asked if they flew a flag on their vehicle and if they agreed with the statement that the now-abandoned White Australia Policy had "saved Australia from many problems experienced by other countries".  

The White Australia Policy was a non-official government policy until after the Second World War, barring non-Europeans from migrating to Australia.  

Can flying the flag be considered a divisive act?

This poll ended on 27 January 2016.

Definitely not.... - 88%

Depending on the manner - where and when - 7%

Perhaps yes due to insinuation - 3%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


Let us know in the comments below

NT News reported on the survey findings, showing only 25% of people who did not fly an Australian flag on their vehicle agreed with the statement.  

By contrast, 56% of people with car flags feared for Australian culture and believed the nation's values were in danger compared with 34% of non-flag flyers.

"What I found interesting is that many people didn't really have much to say about why they chose to fly car flags or not," Professor Fozdar said in an interview with NT News.

"Many felt strongly patriotic about it - and for some, this was quite a racist or exclusionary type of patriotism - but it wasn't a particularly conscious thing for many."

Meanwhile, 35% of flag flyers felt people had to be Australian-born to be truly Australian compared with 22% of non-flag flyers.

A further 23% of flag flyers felt a true Australian was Christian while 18% of non-flaggers held the same sentiment.

A total of 55 per cent of flaggers believed migrants should leave their old ways behind, compared with 30 per cent of non-flaggers. 


Brendon Davies
"I'm an Aussie and proud of it". It's not an achievement people, achievements are something to be proud of. Are you truly proud of the fact you just so happened to be lucky enough to be born into a country that is better off than others?

Maureen Weekes
Means we are proud of OUR country. Who ever thinks its being racist are obviously not an Aussie therefore rack off back to your own country.

Barry Fensom
I love Australia, but I sure dislike the racist elements in Australia.
I think the study is correct. Let's just remember that it isn't saying that all people that fly the flag are racist, only that racists are more likely to be supporters of nationalism and fly the flag.

Danielle Pitts
Wow. Americans wave their flag, they are patriots, others fight with their flags held high....they too are patriots...
Australians wave their flag, and they are racists?

Di Oliver
Ridiculous waste of University money ! I would think it means a display of proud and patriot Australians ! Our soldiers fight under this flag proudly - our sporting contenders wave theirs proudly - is there any difference at home on cars, homes, etc on Australia Day ?

Terry West
I think all my friends from different cultures and backgrounds would gladly tell anyone that I do not have a racist bone in my body. I do fly the flag on Aussie Day for the Aussies past and present. I also recognise that day as a sad day for our first people. We are now in the 21st century, no need for racism, just be proud of who you are!

Jo Denning
So if people put reindeer ears and a red nose in their car does that mean they are Santa???? For goodness sake it's embracing a "day" in our culture. Haven't universities got better things to do?

Coralie Clune
I am certainly not racist but I like to fly the flag on Australia Day. Mind you...I also fly the Aboriginal Flag on the same flagpole and the Aboriginal flag goes on top....I do put Aussie flags on my car if we are going to an Aust. Day event. And I can assure you once more...I am in no way shape or form racist.

Chad Hooper
I don't know how accurate this is... but racists and xenophobes most definitely hide behind a veil or patriotism....using patriotism as an excuse to promote uneducated, unresearched and usually unsourced or generally very biased sources of information....

Brian N Carol Schoeck 

Desy Wentriro
No we are NOT racist we are PROUD AUSSIES!! The people who blame others for being racist, are usually the one's that ARE racist!!

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