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Greens leader shuns Australia flag in divisive act

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On June 20, 2022, Greens ‘leader’ Adam Bandt ordered a staff member to remove the Australian flag from behind the podium at Sydney’s Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices.

Mr Bandt then attempted to speak on behalf of all Australian First Nations peoples by stating that ‘for many Australians, this flag represents dispossession and the lingering pains of colonisation’. 

I doubt Mr Bandt has spoken to many Australians about what our flag represents. Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, for example, had a different view. In a newsletter to supporters, Ms Price said that Bandt’s stunt was a ‘woke joke’ that does more harm than good. In response to Bandt’s suggestion that the Australian flag represented lingering pain, Ms Price said, ‘maybe to you it does, mate, to me it represents my country and ALL of its people – people who don’t need you pulling pointless stunts for them’. She further stated that ‘it is racist to continue to paint Aboriginal Australians as helpless victims that only privileged Greens MPs are capable of rescuing’.

Indigenous leader Warren Mundine also spoke against Bandt’s actions, asking whether the Greens ‘actually hate Australians’. He also pointed out rightly that ‘Aboriginals call themselves Australians all the time’ and that ‘the Greens are just a fringe university type group trying to run down the country’. 

I would have to agree. Bandt’s stunt also fails to acknowledge the sacrifice of many Indigenous men during the great wars and more recent conflicts. All of whom fought under our flag, so we could have a better future, one where ALL Australians mattered. One where ALL Australians had equal opportunities. While equality is a work in progress, stunts like Bandt’s set Australia backwards. It breeds division and continues the myth that only non-Indigenous peoples can change the lives of our First Nations peoples.

War veterans such as Military Cross recipient Michael von Berg has said Bandt ‘should be kicked out of parliament’ and that it is hypocritical to be receiving a salary and benefits but hate our country and our flag. If he feels so badly about it, why is he even in parliament? Mr von Berg went on to say ‘symbols and pranks do nothing in supporting our Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters, where many of us in the ADF have had the great honour of serving with, and in some cases, fighting alongside of, and sadly burying…If your action and objective was to divide the nation, that objective failed, in particular within our ADF and veterans’ community, where the Australian National Flag under which we have all proudly and bravely served is the glue that binds and defines us’. 

The Veteran Support Force has called on Bandt to apologise for his stunt, stating that his actions ‘have brought outrage across the Veteran community and families. They are calling for his immediate apology and actions to be taken by the Government and the Governor-General to ensure that this disrespect is held accountable. 

There are growing calls for Adam Bandt to be removed from office. Perhaps his hefty wage could go some way to tackling real issues. As Ms Price rightly pointed out, fundamental issues such as tackling domestic violence, alcoholism, and other issues faced by Indigenous communities should be the focus, not virtue signalling from an irrelevant party.

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