• Loddon Herald

Proud of our flag

Mallee MP Anne Webster has weighed into the debate about removal of the Australian flag by the Greens leader at a media conference.

This is what Dr Webster has had to say:

While Adam Bandt, believes he is combatting racism by shunning the Australian flag, I would argue he is in fact promoting it, and he ought to be ashamed of himself.

Our flag is a noble symbol that unites all Australians, whether new citizens or those born here,

embracing all of our heritage.

I can remember first becoming aware of the flag in my school assemblies as a preppie. Every

Monday morning in my public school, we gathered in the open courtyard (rain, hail or shine), each class standing together to sing the national anthem as the flag flew above us.  While some may consider such practices anachronistic, for me even as a child, it symbolically united us a students and teachers alike as Australians. It was clearly our national flag - a symbol and sense of pride for our nation.

What is so troubling about Mr Bandt’s behaviour this week, is that he is not proud of our shared democratic values as Australians. He would prefer we despise ourselves and our history. I adamantly disagree with him.

I have read many Veteran statements who are justifiably angry at the stance taken by the Greens’ leader. Australia has lost 100,000 lives in our armed forces, including our Indigenous servicemen, who fought for our freedoms so that we can proudly fly our national flag. Bandt’s intent is to divide us as a nation, on the basis it ‘is hurtful to’ Indigenous people, which is frankly offensive.

My colleague Senator Jacinta Price, a proud Indigenous woman, has rightly described Bandt’s

behaviour as racist because he ‘continues to paint Aboriginal Australians as helpless victims that only privileged Greens MP’s are capable of rescuing.’ She is right when she says the Greens ‘don’t represent the voices or feelings of Aboriginal Australia…’.

While Mr Bandt believes he is combatting racism, in fact he is in full swing promoting it. If the

Greens refuse to stand with our Australian Flag, maybe they should not be receiving tax payer

funds to represent Australians in the very House that proudly flies the Australian Flag above it.

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