Opinion: A True Blue Aussie, Far From Green

     I know this scribble is a touch repetitive but it’s very difficult to ignore such a slur in recent times directed at our national flag by a politician. Personal resentment was magnified when a view was triggered at a time when some of us were in a phase of paying final salutes to a dear old comrade, Frank Moffitt.

   I watched the service, with Moff sleeping beneath the flag he had loved so dearly. A beautiful flag, it is so rich with its colour, pride and history.  A flag which signalled our birth as a nation, and is flown each and every day, be it peace or war and so often during tragedies and trials organised by Mother Nature. Our flag embraces an ever growing Nation with people from all walks of life, including many born in a far distant old world. An old world  carrying its own invisible ball and chains  of varying social classes, and with a ladder of rules regarding social status as you climbed each rung.

   Moff was born under our flag, and in his youth, volunteered to fight and defend it. His family paid a price for such loyalty. One brother was killed in action and another badly wounded. Still a teenager, Moff took the oath to serve his country and when age permitted, went to war in the Pacific where he was wounded and remained in service to the end of the World War 2.   

   He once more took the oath and remained a soldier for over three decades. He served in Korea, Malayan Emergency, Thai border, and Vietnam. Including World War Two, it was a total of over ten years Active Service plus. During such Service he was wounded four times.  In one of his three tours in Vietnam, he was awarded the USA Silver Medal for bravery. 

    Moff was loved and admired by all who served with him. So often weary, cold, wet, thirsty and hungry, he and his mates together risked all, be they black, brown brindle, white or in between. Their interest in colour was only in the same coloured uniform they wore. When our national flag was raised or lowered in their presence, be they on parade or passing by, they would readily salute the sacred thread with pride.  They were as one with an indestructible sense of brotherhood, loyalty, purpose and pride.  Despite so many broken political promises, there were no tantrums or chest thumping. They gritted their teeth and soldiered on for their beloved country.

   Our military from all generations has never had any thought of dwelling in coffee shops sipping latte coffee, or is coffee latte? and planning mischief at a national level, including denigration of our beautiful flag by using it to create national disunity . Perhaps our bloke in Green and his cohorts should have used such time fighting to honour so many broken promises made to veterans by governments over countless years?      

   While Master Green and his mates strut the Great Hall of Canberra with heavy pockets full of gold coin, waiting for the dinner bell, our military is too busy defending and often dying for what that sacred cloth represents

     Get Rid of the Fool in Green

I see the campfire well alight  
Burning with true blue flame so bright
A growing welcome heat that spreads far and wide
Well beyond the silence of the bush with ever angry stride
Reaching out to all, with our proud Southern Cross above
Now’s the time to speak out and defend the flag we dearly love
No matter seasons, our flag stands high, perhaps tattered and torn
The cruellest of tests endured, yet unity and purpose never shorn  
It has always been that way, forever since our nation was born 
The drover’s wife, shearer, nurse, teacher, clerk and who ever
From opulence in city to the smallest of bark huts in the Never Never
From the ghostly columns of the fallen come fiery forceful gusts of rage
From the youngest of students now beginning life with a new history page
From all walks of life who have sweated, bled and toiled in life
From those with empty pockets and other battlers in strife
The time is overdue to remind our Suits in Parliament who we are
Fair dinkum Aussies loyal to our flag with its genes and Cross of Stars
We can start with this overfed Yarper in Green
Not knowing where he’s going, and doesn’t care where he’s been.  

George Mansford ©29 June2022