[Editor: This “wave of patriotism” preceded the outbreak of the Second World War. In the late 1930s, war was being seen as imminent, with a resulting heightening of patriotism across the country.]
Skin deep patriotism
A wave of patriotism is sweeping over the backs and chests of many Sydney men. But it is only skin deep.
“Australia for ever” and “Australia my country,” with a map of Australia and the Australian flag, have been tattooed on many backs and chests in recent months, according to Fred. Harris, who claims to be the last of Sydney’s professional tattooists.
The demand for patriotic designs featuring Australia has been accompanied by demands from foreigners and men of foreign extraction for the obliteration or removal of the flags of certain countries.
Many favored the “Australia for ever” design, which costs 10s, in place of their native flag.
For super-patriots Harris has a full Australian coat of arms extending right across the chest or back. It costs £5.
Visitors to Australia frequently take home as a souvenir a koala tattooed on the arm.
The Daily News (Perth, WA), Saturday 14 January 1939, page 9
Also published (with minor alterations) in:
The Townsville Daily Bulletin (Townsville, Qld.), Monday 16 January 1939, page 3
[Editor: Corrected “tattoed” to “tattooed” in two places.]