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NSW Government Refuses To Permanently Fly Aboriginal Flag On Sydney Harbour Bridge

Stewart Perrie

Published 

NSW Government Refuses To Permanently Fly Aboriginal Flag On Sydney Harbour Bridge

The New South Wales government has refused to commit to having the Aboriginal flag permanently on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

There have been calls for years to have the flag flown alongside the Aussie one on one of Sydney's most recognisable landmarks.

Close to 200,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the change to be made and yet nothing has been done.

Dominic Perrottet's office was asked ahead of Australia Day, an annual moment that already provokes strong sentiments for First Nations people, whether his administration was considering the proposal.

A spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald: "The Australian Aboriginal flag flies in both chambers at NSW Parliament and at Government House Sydney, something we are very proud of."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

They added that the Aboriginal flag is an 'important cultural foundation for many ceremonies in NSW' and that all states and territories follow the federal government for 'flag protocol'.

At the moment, the Aboriginal flag is only flown on top of the Harbour Bridge 19 days in the year.

Those days are Australia Day (January 26), February 13 as an apology to members of the Stolen Generation, National Sorry Day on May 26, Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.

Premier Perrottet is under pressure from Labor to ensure the Aboriginal flag stays on top of the bridge.

NSW Opposition Leader Chris Minns wants it up there 365 days a year.

"This would be an important act of reconciliation and of truth telling," Mr Minns said. "The federal government deserves credit for securing the copyright for the Aboriginal flag after a strong grassroots campaign.

"That is something to be celebrated by everyone."

Credit: Change.orgCredit: Change.org

The federal government confirmed this week it had secured the copyright to the flag's design, which allows for it to be freely used across the country.

Kamilaroi woman Cheree Toka launched that online petition for the flag to be made permanent and she believes it's time.

She wrote on Change.org: "As Australians, we are proud of our Aboriginal heritage and we want to recognise and celebrate this heritage every day.

"The flags flying from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge are wonderful symbols of our heritage and identity.

"The undersigned petitioners therefore ask the Legislative Assembly and additional decision makers for a third flag to fly alongside the Australian and the NSW flags - one that acknowledges and celebrates our ancient and authentic Aboriginal culture; the red, black and yellow Aboriginal flag."

Hopefully a change is on the way.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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