Anthony Albanese makes a major Aboriginal flag blunder at his ‘groundbreaking’ job summit in front of a Who’s Who of Australia’s elite from billionaires to premiers – and NONE of them noticed
- Much anticipated Jobs and skills summit began at Parliament House on Thursday
- Got off to a rough start by bungling the hanging of the Aboriginal flag
- Jacinta Price and Warren Mundine quick to admonish after seeing it on TV
- The PM began hanging the flag and Torres Strait version after winning election
Anthony Albanese’s jobs summit has committed an embarrassing faux pas by hanging the Aboriginal flag upside down.
The flag was displayed alongside the Australian and Torres Strait Islander flags at the meeting on Thursday at the meeting of government and business leaders.
Despite being in the background as the prime minister addressed the summit, the issue was not rectified and continued to hang wrongly for hours.
The black half of the flag, which represents the Aboriginal people, is supposed to be at the top when it is flown but instead the red half was at the top.
Anthony Albanese’s jobs summit has committed an embarrassing faux pas by hanging the Aboriginal flag upside down
Prominent Aboriginal leaders were shocked the summit’s organisers could commit such a basic error, and that none of the high-powered attendees appeared to notice.
Senator Jacinta Price said it was ironic that the government went out of its way to show symbolic respect for indigenous Australians, yet got it so badly wrong.
‘With all the virtuous expression of respect for Aboriginal Australians… and all the carry on with strategically placing the flag prominently to express this deep virtue you’d think that this Albanese Government could actually hang it the right way up?’ she said.
‘Especially at such a significant and groundbreaking event such as the job summit.’
Aboriginal business leader and former Labor Party president Warren Mundine was equally shocked when he saw the upside-down flag on TV.
‘How ignorant and pathetic is it that our national flag is treated this way… put it up properly!’ he said.
At one stage a group of attendees including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar took a selfie in front of the flags, appearing not to notice the glaring error.
Despite being in the background as the prime minister addressed the summit, the issue was not rectified and continued to hang wrongly for hours
June Oscar, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Emma Fulu, executive director of the Equality Institute, Michele O’Neil, president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Dr Leonora Risse from RMIT University and Finance Minister Katy Gallagher take a selfie with the flags – none seeming to notice the glaring error
Flying a flag upside-down is usually a sign of distress, such as on a sinking ship, and is sometimes done by protesters at rallies.
Australian flag protocols ban the flying of flags the wrong way up under all circumstances.
Mr Albanese began displaying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags in parliament and at government events after seizing power at the May 21 election.
Senator Price at the time criticised the flag display as empty symbolism, and it prompted One Nation leader Pauline Hanson to storm out of the Senate.
Other indigenous MPs and leaders believe it is a long-overdue acknowledgement of Australia’s pre-settlement history and that First Nations cultures continue today.