The Australian Flag, from dawn to dusk, flew at my place, in Sandy UT today, during my celebration of Australia Day.
I spent quite a while explaining to my wife that Australia celebrates as its National Day the arrival of 11 English ships (The First Fleet) into Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) on the January 26 1788 to claim the land for Britain as a penal colony, under the first of the Naval Governors (Governor Phillip). The Colony was called New South Wales.
In answer to the inevitable Why?, I explained the British could no longer send convicts to America for rehabilitation, having upset the American Colonies when they were under the British flag. The First Fleet beat out two French ships under La Perouse by several days. Otherwise I might be speaking French rather than Strine. A Sydney coastal suburb is called La Perouse.
The British declared Australia terra nulius (unoccupied land) which was quite a surprise to an estimated 300,000 Aborigines who had called it home for 70,000 years. Only in this past decade was there an official Government apology for the "invasion".
The Australian Colonies federated in 1901. The Australian Flag came into being soon after, following a competition won by a school child. The Australian Capital of Canberra was founded in 1927, designed by the American architect, Walter Burley Griffin who won an international competition.
History lesson and celebrations over for another year.