In the article the focus is on the manner in which the blue gum tree has often figured in
one way or another as a metaphor in the discourse about language politics and languagerelated
issues around Afrikaans. The concepts “identity”, “group”, “volk” and “nation” are briefly explicated to clarify the context in which myth making and metaphorical language usually feature. Information about the blue gum and about texts referring to blue gum trees serve as an introduction for a discussion on the “Taal- en Stryd-Kongres” (Language and Struggle Conference) of 1989. During this conference two speakers (or groups of speakers) from more or less opposing political and ideological backgrounds used the blue gum in the title of their papers on Afrikaans and language-related issues in such a way that the blue gum tree became a metaphor for their specific points of view.