opinion

'I'm sick of being judged for my Southern Cross tattoo.'

In recent years the Southern Cross tattoo has become a divisive symbol.

A hallmark of the late 90s and early 00s, what began as a symbol of Australian patriotism slowly morphed into a sign of boganism and, more recently, one of dogged nationalism.

It’s a shift in acceptance that has angered one patriotic Aussie, who had the five stars tattooed on her right foot before deciding to have them covered up.

“It is frowned upon to be proud to be Australian,” Emily told Triple J’s Hack program on Thursday night.

“I don’t like that all because we all should be allowed to be proud of where we live,” she continued.

“I think it’s definitely become racist to have a Southern Cross, which is terrible because that’s our flag.”

 "It is frowned upon to be proud to be Australian." (Image: ABC)

Emily said that at job interviews, parties, and social events, she'd cover her feet with frilly socks to avoid confrontation that could stem from her controversial ink - even when she was wearing heels.

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"It looked really stupid and I knew it looked stupid, but that was what I did to avoid certain people seeing the tattoo.

"If I knew I was going to a party with people from a different background or something I felt really ashamed to show it."

Southern Cross tattoos incite a range of negative responses, Emily says, and that's something she doesn't deserve.

 Southern Cross tattoos incite a range of negative responses. (Image: ABC)

While she is happy with the pink floral pattern she had tattooed over the top to conceal the Southern Cross, Emily maintains it was a decision she felt coerced to make.

"I should definitely be able to show it and not have to cover it up, but I'm sick of being judged for it, and I'm sick of being made out to be something that I'm not."

Emily's story is one part of the Hack Aussie Patriots special that aired at 9.30pm on Thursday on ABC & iView.