Study sparks debate - but Bundy people love their flag

"FLYING the flag just makes me proud!"

The statement from Facebook user Rob Worrall is a sentiment echoed throughout most of NewsMail's Facebook commentators after debating whether those who fly our nation's flag are more likely to be racist.

The comments flowed in after the NewsMail recently posted a story about findings from a University of Western Australia study that concluded if you fly an Australian flag on your car, you have a higher chance of being a racist.

University sociologist and anthropologist Professor Farida Fozdar and a team of assistants surveyed 513 people at Australia Day fireworks on Perth's Swan River foreshore last year to investigate a possible link between flying the flag on one's vehicle and racist attitudes.

The study showed 56% of survey participants with car flags feared for Australian culture and believed the nation's values were in danger compared with 34% of non-flag flyers.

Meanwhile, 35% of flag flyers felt people had to be Australian-born to be truly Australian compared with 22% of non-flag flyers.

A total of 55% of flaggers believed migrants should leave their old ways behind, compared with 30% of non-flaggers.

NewsMail Facebook commentators took to the site to voice their opinion on the study, with some saying they agreed with its outcome.

"I love Australia, but I sure dislike the racist elements in Australia. I think the study is correct. Let's just remember that it isn't saying that all people that fly the flag are racist, only that racists are more likely to be supporters of nationalism and fly the flag," Barry Fensom said.

Most commentators, however, stated flying the Aussie flag had nothing to do with racism.

"No we are not racist, just proud to be Australian," Nicola Coleman said.

"I think all my friends from different cultures and backgrounds would gladly tell anyone that I do not have a racist bone in my body. I do fly the flag on Aussie Day for the Aussies past and present. I also recognise that day as a sad day for our first people. We are now in the 21st century, no need for racism, just be proud of who you are," Terry West said.