The two Aboriginal flags that fly high over the Brunswick River Bridge on Invasion Day have become a potent symbol of survival and solidarity for many in the Shire.
So it was with surprise, and in many cases disappointment, that locals woke on Sunday morning to discover that one of the proud emblems had been stolen during the night.
Local campers reportedly witnessed a man stop his car on the bridge at around 3am, take down one of the bamboo poles, and remove the flag before driving off.
The incident may have been recorded by the dashboard camera of a car parked nearby.
As news of the theft filtered through the Shire, locals are questioning whether it was an ignorant prank or a deliberately racist act.
‘If I ever get to meet this guy I’d like to ask ‘what was your motivation brother?’’ said ‘Coda’, the local who, along with a small group of companions, has raised the flags every Invasion Day for the past four years.
Thick with irony
‘The irony is so thick’.
‘I mean, think about the treatment of Aboriginal people in this country and what that flag means to them.
‘To have that symbol taken [around] the day that marks the theft of their land, there’s strong symbolism there.’
Coda believes that, far from harming the cause, the theft of the flag will help to focus attention on the continuing need for justice and reconciliation.
‘It’s inspired us to have more ceremony around the flag raising next year – a smoking ceremony and a Welcome to Country led by mob.’ However, he is also inviting whoever took the flag to return it.
‘I can always make another one, but that’s not really the point. We’d love this one back.’
The person with the flag is invited to drop if off just inside the front door of The Echo office in Mullumbimby on weekdays during business hours. No questions will be asked.
Well, look on the bright side.
After the mega-million taxpayer-funded patent/copyright purchase of this flag’s design – it is sort of public property, isn’t it?
They presume a White person would want them….so I would be looking at Aboriginal LGBTQIP Women as they would naturally feel entitled to them.