Black Diggers

Black Diggers

by

Tom Wright

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A bright constellation visible in the Southern Hemisphere, which features on the Australian flag and has held a variety of meanings throughout Australian history: it is of deep religious importance for many of Australia’s Indigenous people, was frequently used as a symbol of the fight for Australian independence from the British Empire, and has more recently been used by Australian white nationalists. Accordingly, while standing for the Australian nation, it also shows how the concept of that nation has been built on the backs of Indigenous people and reconceived so as to exclude them. One of the first scenes in Black Diggers includes a patriotic war song called “Sons of the Southern Cross.”
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Southern Cross Term Timeline in Black Diggers

The timeline below shows where the term Southern Cross appears in Black Diggers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One
Australian Nationhood and Indigenous Dispossession Theme Icon
History, Memory, and the Archive Theme Icon
...The boys laugh, but soon join the Retired Schoolmaster in a song, “Sons of the Southern Cross .” The song’s lyrics name icons of Australian nature and announce to “our brothers” that... (full context)