It is Australia Day. The 26th of January is celebrated as a day the British Empire planted the flag on Australian soil.
Years later there was Eureka. Gold miners we called "Diggers" were abused by the English officers and forced to work for no pay to help the mighty British Empire.
The largest majority of the men were English/Irish/welsh expats, some 2nd gen Australians,black American from New York City,and a Mexican, who were poor and needed to strike it big to settle down.
Two brothers set out from the UK one went to the USA and mined in the Californian gold fields his relatives became Lloyd, Jeff and Beau Bridges, the other went to the Victorian Gold fields, his relatives became me :)
The miners were bashed by the police who were made up from Tasmanian Criminals who the English Officers gave their freedom inexchange for their brutality, they were hunted in what they called "Digger Hunts" and treated less than second class cits (they were not given any rights). After a murder of an Irish miner by an English man with full acquittal by the Governor, and the news that they would never get the land they worked so hard to get, a rebellion began (the Miners Reform League)!
It was originally to be peaceful but the governor sent in the Army. They made a new flag based on a star grouping unique to Australia (maybe NZ) called the Southern Cross and prepared to meet the British. A group of miners took on the might of the British Army with makeshift weapons and won! ( kind of :? )
They were betrayed for $1000 pounds. The miners were made up of a lot of Catholics, so on Sunday while they were in their makeshift church (dirt ground, no roof) the Army attacked. Many Australians were slaughtered and the re-enforcments were still a day away.
The men who escaped were hunted.But word travelled around about the massacre, and the man who was their commander had survived, became a hero. Mass protests began around the country and the British began to lose controle over us.
In a trial against the rebels charged with treason they were found innocent, and Diggers were alowed to own their own land :D
The hero became the first Member of Parliment in Victoria, our first government!
Alot of Aussies celibrate this today instead. There is a movie you can see about it called Eureka Stockade (1949) and I recomend it!
Happy Australia Day Guys and Gals!
Oh and here is what a lot of us consider to be our REAL flag: