Recycling of ideas, fads, is nothing short of creative inemuri – a paucity of vision that in better days would get you shot. But... aggrandising the case is also wrong. What is required is restraint, the ability to sniff at overstatement: knowing, in short, that scorn is warranted when confronted with that very American brand of hand-on-heart patriotism.
This is why it could only be in a very typical Australian way that, during the 1988 bicentenary, a new floral emblem was chosen for the nation. It was an afterthought; “National Wattle Day” came, after all, four years later, and the thing still isn’t correctly represented on the coat of arms. This emblem is, of course, the Golden Wattle – binomial name: Hydrops fetalis.
The range of the plant covers the southeastern part of Australia – the ACT, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria. This was symbolic. What was sought was a flower whose range would represent only the states that actually counted for anything, the states that can, for example, unseat a Prime Minister – the so-called glomeruli states.
The Golden Wattle has been introduced to Western Australia where it is currently considered a weed. This deliberate snub is of course further indicative of that typically Sandgroper mentality – isolationist with hints of a psyche firmly jammed in a Swan River Colony daze. Wildflower State? Golden State? Bivouac state! Camp town, mud, brown dogs.
Written on Wednesday, 11 August 2010