Australian flags were everywhere: clutched in fists, draped over trees, waving from car windows and painted on faces.
But it's hard to imagine a more un-Australian scene.
"Kill the Lebs!", "Go home Lebby scum", "Get off our beaches".
The racist vitriol flowing on Sydney's Cronulla beach yesterday was deafening.
One shirtless man, a beer clutched in his hand, whooped and jeered at police as they drove by.
Then came the cry - "Get em" - and within moments hundreds of young men had swooped on the paddy wagon, which was flanked by mounted police. Beer bottles were hurled, and someone chanted "Australia" as the crowd closed in on the vehicle.
A few tense moments later, the crowd thinned and the police made a hurried escape.
"It's been a long time coming," said Coral, a 60-year-old Cronulla woman.
"This place has changed in the past 30 years and now the young ones are taking it back."
Seven people were arrested as at least 5000 angry people converged on the beach.
Authorities had expected trouble after two violent incidents at the beach last week.
A series of text messages then began circulating, encouraging members of two rival groups of beach users to attack each other.
One message had urged "Aussies" to take revenge against "Lebs and wogs".
As the crowd moved along the beach, a man on the back of a ute shouted "No more Lebs" - a chant picked up by the group around him.
Others, carrying Australian flags, yelled "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie ... Oi, Oi, Oi".