Get Lost, Mate

Illustration for TIME by Edel Rodriguez

It was on one of those blue-sky, Sydney summer afternoons early last year when I first realized something had gone awry with the Australian flag. The date was Jan. 26, 2008 — Australia Day. I'd just returned to Sydney as a freelance journalist after some years in New York City and was having lunch at a pub in the beachfront suburb of Newport when an uneasy, skin-prickling moment dawned. Around me were hundreds of young white men and women, many of them drunk, chanting the national war cry — "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi oi oi!" Almost all were sporting...

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