If Australians struggle with Australia Day, they face a journey down a long nationalistic road to work out what to make of Invasion Day.
On Tuesday we celebrate our own version of America's 4th of July, although we are not quite as determined.
On January 26, 1788 the First Fleet shipped anchor in Botany Bay and sailed to nearby Sydney Cove to make a settlement.
There were 11 ships, white sails in the sun, with 1500 souls aboard.
I'm not a disciple of the notion of guilt and personal responsibility for what happened next, suffice to say the settlers cut down trees and also cut down 20,000 or so Indigenous owners of the land over the next 20 years to transform Sydney into what it is today.
The subsequent massacre involved mass shootings, poisoning and driving groups of bewildered landowners off the cliffs.
A first-hand account is instructive - "In less than twenty years we have nearly swept them off the face of the earth. We have shot them down like dogs. In the guise of friendship we have issued corrosive sublimate in their damper and consigned whole tribes to the agonies of an excruciating death. We have made them drunkards, and infected them with diseases which have rotted the bones of their adults...We have made them outcasts on their own land, and are rapidly consigning them to entire annihilation." (Journalist Edward Wilson, Argus, 17th March 1856)
In my ignorance of this sordid, despicable history I've oscillated between don't touch our Australia Day, and, what was that day again?
I remember marking the day in the Bicentennial year 1988 by having a hot steaming bath in an outdoor bathtub in the Wielangta Forest.
It was a hot day.
White boy soaks up history.
Most other times my head has barely looked up at the TV news, broadcasting another round of citizenship ceremonies, featuring new Australians who would be just as curious as I am as to what the day means.
The PM has sought to consolidate 233 years of white settlement into a sweeping acknowledgement that one word-change will fix it.
So, the first stanza of the anthem now declares we're "one" and free, not "young" and free.
Come to think of it, being "young and free" is pretty impertinent towards a race of landowners who thought for 50,000 years they had freehold title,
You may ask why all the fuss now, two centuries later.
Well, Australia Day is what all the fuss is about.
Celebrating Australia Day is like Hutu tribes in Rwanda marking a day to celebrate the tribal genocide of 500,000 Tutsi Rwandans in 1994.
It's like America celebrating the Wild West days of white settlement, when the US Government and settlers reduced the first nation population from more than five million to less than 250,000.
Australia Day stemmed from the British beating the Dutch and French to the colonisation of the Great Southern Land, in the name of Royal Britannia.
Having claimed the continent for King and Country our forebears then violently evicted the owners.
So after 233 years the best we can come up with in terms of squaring the ledger is to change a word.
The Union Jack still features on our national flag, we still celebrate the birthday of our foreign-based head of state in the wrong month, the June long weekend, (Queen Elizabeth was born on April 24) and she still features on our currency.
Pity our new Australians who really must wonder at times where their new allegiances should lie ... with old England or with Australia.
We should scrap Australia Day and replace it with Anzac Day because even though Anzac Day celebrates a retreat at Gallipoli and ditto a strategic retreat at Kokoda in New Guinea 27 years later, at least young and old Australians have an abiding affinity with it.
Some may argue we can't align the pinnacle of our culture with a failed military endeavour in 1915, but who cares about the defeat if Anzac Cove burns in our hearts at the Dawn Service.
We can never entertain a Republic Australia until we have squared the ledger with our first nation people.
New Australians will not honour us by embracing a culture that either hasn't a clue what it stands for, or doesn't care.
Tuesday, January 26, is a ludicrous statement of who we are.
It ignores the massacre of a race of people and offers nothing but cultural confusion for those fronting up for citizenship.
We could change the date of Australia Day but that doesn't change the history of the massacre.
Call me trendy white trash, but I truly believe that once you fix the perennial divide with our first nation people, Australians of all cultures will warmly discover and embrace our roots.
Only then will we realise the spectacle of one Australia coming of age.
- Barry Prismall is a former The Examiner deputy editor and Liberal adviser