Aussie digger blasts Greens leader Adam Bandt as a ‘national disgrace’ for REFUSING to stand in front of the Australian flag – and says his Aboriginal wife was also ‘disgusted’
- Greens leader Adam Bandt refuses to stand alongside Australian national flag
- On Monday a member of his staff was seen removing it before a presser
- Only the Aboriginal flag and Torres Strait Island flag could be seen behind him
- The Greens say the national flag represents colonisation and dispossession
- Liberal MP and veteran Phil Thompson called Mr Bandt a ‘national disgrace’
A Liberal MP and former Army soldier has blasted Greens leader Adam Bandt for refusing to stand alongside the Australian flag.
Phil Thompson, who survived a bomb exploding a metre in front of him in Afghanistan, described the Greens leader as a ‘national disgrace’.
He said his wife Jenna, who is Aboriginal, was ‘disgusted’ after Mr Bandt’s staff removed the flag from behind their leader before a press conference in Sydney on Monday.
Phil Thompson (pictured with wife Jenna and one of his two daughters) described the Greens leader as a ‘national disgrace’
Mr Thompson said his wife Jenna, who is Aboriginal, was ‘disgusted’ after Mr Bandt’s staff removed the flag from behind him before a press conference in Sydney on Monday
Mr Bandt refuses to appear with the flag because it reminds some Indigenous Australians of colonisation.
Mr Thompson, shadow assistant defence minister and MP for Herbert in north Queensland, wrote on Twitter: ‘My wife is a proud Aboriginal woman & disgusted by the leader of the Green’s media stunt and his rhetoric of division.
‘I take the importance of the ANF very seriously I fought underneath it my brothers who were Killed In Action have had our flag draped over their coffin.’
Speaking later to Sky News, he accused Mr Bandt of trying to ‘divide the nation.’
‘We must always recognise and acknowledge the past but the way we move forward as a nation is to walk together,’ he said.
A member of Mr Bandt’s staff was seen removing the flag from the behind the podium before the presser at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices in Sydney on Monday.
Greens leader Adam Bandt (pictured today in front of the Aboriginal flag and Torres Strait Island flag) has caused a stir by refusing to stand alongside the Australian national flag in a press conference
One journalist said she saw a Greens staffer remove the Australian flag from behind the podium before Mr Bandt spoke – leaving the Torres Strait Island and Aboriginal flags in place
The move meant that only the Aboriginal flag and Torres Strait Island flag could be seen behind him as he spoke to the cameras.
Mr Bandt told Daily Mail Australia the nation’s flag reminds some people of Australia’s colonisation.
The flag, first flown after federation in 1901, has the Union Jack in the upper left corner to acknowledge the history of British settlement.
‘For many Australians, this flag represents dispossession and the lingering pains of colonisation,’ Mr Bandt said.
‘Through Treaty with First Nations’ Peoples and by moving to a Republic, we can have a flag that represents all of us.’
A review of Mr Bandt’s previous TV interviews shows he always has the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags in the background, but never the nation’s flag.
Mr Bandt added later that the Union Jack symbol is hurtful to Indigenous Australians.
Greens member for Melbourne Adam Bandt and wife Claudia Perkins arrive for the annual Mid Winter Ball at Parliament House in 2018