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Featured Image Credit: Robert Wallace / Wallace Media Network / Alamy Stock Photo
The Aboriginal flag has permanently replaced the New South Wales state flag atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge full-time.
As part of a $401 million investment in the 2022 budget towards more Closing the Gap initiatives, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet emphasised the role of the flag, which 'ensures that [NSW] celebrate[s] our nation’s ancient heritage alongside its modern history in a continuing story'.
Announcing plans to install the Indigenous flag permanently on the world’s largest steel arch bridge, the government promised to add a third 20-metre-tall flagpole.
The same height as a six-storey building, the material of the flags themselves are 9m by 4.5m, further requiring an attachment to keep the flags held strong against all of Australia’s ever-changing weather conditions.
When asked about the exorbitant cost of the flagpole, the premier told reporters: "I don't know [why], but it does apparently."
He went on, humorously, to say: "I'll go to Bunnings myself and climb up there and put the pole up."
Officials have since scrapped the notion of the $25 million scheme to accommodate both state and Aboriginal flags, instead ridding the NSW flag from its pole and sporting only the nation’s federal flag, as usual, alongside its proud Indigenous counterpart.
The state Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Ben Franklin, said in a press release that the money initially put aside for the installation of a new flag pole will instead be reallocated to initiatives intent on 'deliver[ing] real outcomes for Aboriginal people across NSW'.
Following the viral Free the Flag campaign during January of this year, the Australian federal government purchased the copyright to the symbolic Indigenous imagery in a bid of $20 million, making it available for free public use.
With NSW leading the charge, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has revealed that the Aboriginal flag is also stationed to wave permanently above Melbourne's West Gate Bridge.
Hopefully such a gesture improves relations between non-Indigenous and Indigenous people of Australia, showing respect for our country’s roots and the people for whom sovereignty still hasn’t been ceded.