Phil Thompson blasts Greens leader Adam Bandt over Australian flag stunt in Sydney
Aussie digger calls Greens leader Adam Bandt a ‘national disgrace’ for REFUSES to stand in front of Australian flag – and says his Aboriginal wife was also ‘disgusted’
- Greens leader Adam Bandt refuses to stand next to the Australian national flag
- On Monday, a member of his staff was seen removing it for a press
- Only the Aboriginal flag and the Torres Strait Island flag could be seen behind him
- The Greens say the national flag stands for colonization and expropriation
- Liberal MP and veteran Phil Thompson called Mr Bandt a ‘national disgrace’
A Liberal MP and former army soldier has berated Greens leader Adam Bandt for refusing to stand next to the Australian flag.
Phil Thompson, who survived a bomb that exploded a meter ahead of him in Afghanistan, described the Greens leader as a “national disgrace”.
He said his Aboriginal wife, Jenna, 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, an Aboriginal, was ‘disgusted’ after Mr Bandt’s staff removed the flag from behind him ahead of a press conference in Sydney on Monday
Mr Bandt refuses to appear with the flag as it reminds some Indigenous Australians of colonization.
Mr Thompson, shadow assistant defense secretary and MP for Herbert in northern Queensland, wrote on Twitter: ‘My wife is a proud Aboriginal woman and is disgusted by the Greens media stunt leader and his divisive rhetoric.
“I take the importance of the ANF very seriously. I fought under it. My brothers who were killed in action flew our flag over their coffin.”
He later spoke to Sky News, accusing Mr Bandt of trying to “divide the nation.”
“We must always recognize and acknowledge the past, but the way we move forward as a nation is by walking together,” he said.
A member of Mr Bandt’s staff was seen on Monday removing the flag from behind the podium for the press at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices in Sydney.
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 next to the Australian national flag during a press conference
A journalist said she saw a Greens operative 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 the Torres Strait Island flag could be seen behind him as he spoke to the cameras.
Mr Bandt told Daily Mail Australia that the country’s flag reminds some people of Australia’s colonization.
The flag, first flown after federation in 1901, has the Union Jack in the top left corner to acknowledge the history of British settlement.
“For many Australians, this flag represents expropriation and the lingering pain of colonisation,” said Mr Bandt.
“By making a treaty with First Nations peoples and moving to a republic, we can have a flag that represents us all.”
A review of Mr Bandt’s previous TV interviews reveals that he always has the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags in the background, but never the country’s flag.
Mr Bandt later added 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