Will the Story Bridge Fly the Aboriginal Flags Permanently?

An online petition is calling for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags to be permanently displayed on the Story Bridge. Currently, only the Australian Flag and Queensland Flag fly on the bridge.

The controversial petition, which runs until 15 November 2022, has attracted more than two thousand supporters.

“Only the Australian Flag and Queensland Flag currently fly on the Story Bridge. It is time for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags to be proudly displayed on the bridge. That Council installs the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags on the Story Bridge,” the petition initiated by Morningside Ward Councillor Kara Cook said.

Upon launching in September, the e-petition quickly gained traction, collecting more than 200 signatures within two hours and more than 800 signatures the next day.

Indigenous leaders, such as Queensland Treaty Advancement Committee co-chair Mick Gooda and Commissioner for the Queensland Family and Child Commission Natalie Lewis, have also expressed support for the petition.

The petition comes after the NSW and Victorian governments began hoisting the Aboriginal Flag. 

The Australian aboriginal flag flying in Victoria Square, Adelaide, South Australia
Photo Credit: Peripitus, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0> / Wikimedia Commons

In early July, the Victorian Government announced that the Aboriginal flag will permanently fly above the West Gate Bridge. Since 2019, the flag has been appearing on the West Gate Bridge on a rotational basis during Reconciliation and NAIDOC weeks. 

Five years ago, a petition was launched to ask the Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews for the flag to fly on the West Gate Bridge, joining the Australian and Victorian flags. Almost 6,000 people signed the petition.

 Aboriginal Flag
Photo Credit: SuperJew, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0> / Wikimedia Commons

It didn’t take long for NSW to follow suit. Beginning 11 July 2022, the Aboriginal flag became a permanent feature of the Sydney Harbour Bridge alongside the Australian and the NSW State flags. The announcement was made in time for the conclusion of NAIDOC Week 2022. 

In 2020, indigenous activist Cheree Toka from Kamilaroi launched a petition to fly the Aboriginal flag over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, 365 days a year. More than 177,000 supported the campaign.