Adelaide taxi drivers flying the flagI grew up with a strong sense of patriotism, very much identifying with the notion of nationhood. My brother and I used to wave Malaysian flags and jump up and down in front of the television watching our athletes compete in the Olympic games. Whenever a Malaysian won the rare medal, we would go on cloud nine. I swelled with pride to see them on a world stage!

We did not need great intellect or theological understanding to resonate with the soaring grandness of nationhood. It was part of our human makeup.

As Australia celebrates Australia Day, I am gently reminded of similar feelings of pride. Knowing that half of Adelaide’s taxi fleet will be flying the flag awakens something in me. It reminds me of a childhood game, how my brother and I used to count the number of cars sporting Malaysian flags each National Day. Some cars sported more than six flags. What a sense of exuberance!

Today, I don’t need to be a citizen to rejoice with the nation that now hosts me, and to celebrate all that is good in this blessed land. I don’t need to be white. It saddens me that people equate flying the flag to racism on an occasion like that—and worse, that the media perpetuates it!

Amid all the Aussie Day conversation taking place—some pleasant and others not so, I hope people focus on the meaning of the Australian flag and the celebration of nationhood.

If people have used the flag as a symbol of “race hate” or a “weapon”—to borrow the words of an Islamic leader—then clearly, they have missed the point of the flag. I am happy for my Aussie friends who fly their flag with pride. Maybe I’ll fly an Aussie flag too.

Flags indicate distinctive nationhood an invention of God. (Deuteronomy 32:8). My prayer is that Australia will prosper as a nation as it pursues righteousness (Proverbs 14:34).

A few Australia Day links I enjoyed: