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Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe Wants The Aboriginal Flag To Be Flown Half-Mast On January 26

Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe Wants The Aboriginal Flag To Be Flown Half-Mast On January 26

She reflected upon Australia Day and how it marks a day of 'colonial flag-waving' and 'heightened racism'.

Jessica Lynch

Jessica Lynch

Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe has called for the Aboriginal Flag to be flown at half-mast across the country on January 26.

She wants the move to recognise the First Nations people who were affected by the European colonisation of Australia on Australia Day.

Thorpe has reflected on how the day has 'colonial flag-waving', 'heightened racism', and the 'celebration of violent occupation' on a day which saw 'at least 270 massacres of First Nations peoples in this country.'

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"I know that we are not alone in wanting to believe that this country is capable of telling the truth about its violent history - reckoning with its past, so it can better deal with its present," Thorpe said in a passionate op-ed on SMH,

"As with ANZAC Day, we ask that all Australians join us in acknowledging January 26 as a day of respectful reflection and mourning for those who died fighting for the country.

"A day of mourning is not a new idea, but it is an important one.

"On this day, the Aboriginal flag can be flown at half-mast, as befits a day of grief and remembrance. I'm inviting communities, councils and organisations across Australia to do just that.

"Those attending Invasion Day dawn services should also consider wearing black, to symbolise mourning.

"The countless injustices Aboriginal people have faced began on January 26, 1788, but they continue today."

Thorpe, who is a proud is a Djabwurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara woman', then urged all Aussies to support her campaign.

"To stand with us - to turn this day of mourning into a day of healing so we can move forward together as a nation," she wrote.

Last November, several Australia Day events were pre-emptively cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This rehashed the debate about whether to change the date of Australia Day, with the suggestion still proving to be a highly divisive issue among Australians.

Among some of the suggested dates to change Australia Day to include May 8 (Maate), May 9 - which is the first sitting of Federal Parliament, as well as the third Friday of January in order to guarantee a long weekend each year.

Some local councils have dumped January 26 celebrations completely, with last year seeing a summer-themed event held on a different date.

Featured Image Credit: Creative Commons

Topics: Australia