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The heart's cute, but like the disco ball, detracts, I think, from the magnificant coat hanger itself. Leave it up for the season, lit perferably, but it ought to come down eventually.

It's funny how, even after September 11, I'm always hearing from Australians about how Americans make such a show of patriotism, waving the flag at every opportunity, and how Australians prefer not to wear their national hearts on their sleeves. Well, until now, with the PM trying to tie school funding to having a flagpole or defending flag-draped Cronulla rioters as patriotic (speaking of fiascos), and Piers Ackerman having an aneurism in print over Waverly Council's flag debate. While government centres ought, I think, to display their affiliation, that can be done with the heraldic symbol of 'roo & 'mu. I much prefer the more usually understated Australian approach to flag-waving. Pride shouldn't depend on a bit of fabric.

I'm with Greg on this one. Flag-flying tends to be the start of the slippery slope to the nastier elements of nationalism. I'm extremely proud of my country - the way it is.

For a year or two after 9-11, one organization, and I cannot remember who, ran an advertisement on American TV.

Scene: Average east coast street, about two dozen houses shown. Maybe one house was flying the American flag.

Voiceover: "On September 11th, terrorists tried to change America."

Scene: Average east coast street, about two dozen houses shown. Almost every one was flying the American flag.

Voiceover: "They did."

Well Adrian mate, as Inspector Gadget used to say, 'Wowsers!'.

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