Aboriginal flag to fly on Sydney Harbour Bridge

After a five-year campaign by supporters, the Aboriginal flag will now fly in perpetuity on one of Australia‘s most recognizable monuments.

The New South Wales (NSW) state government declared earlier this year that it would put the flag and a new pole to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

However, it stated that this would take up to two years and cost A$25m (£14m; $17m).

Following criticism, officials declared they would immediately fly the flag on an already-existing pole.

The Australian and NSW flags are typically flown over the bridge. On a few occasions during the year, the Aboriginal flag has flown in place of the state flag.

The NSW flag, which will now no longer be flown in Sydney, will be permanently replaced by this one and flown someplace else.

According to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, the A$25 million allocated for the initial proposal will instead be used for programs aimed at reducing disadvantage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The challenging work necessary to construct a new, six-story flagpole atop the heritage-listed bridge and replace the other two contributed to the high cost.

Cheree Toka, a Komilaroi woman, has fought for the reform for five years and started a petition that has gathered more than 170,000 signatures.

She expressed the hope that other cities around the nation will follow, saying the change was long overdue.

The media quoted Ms. Toka as saying, “Yes, it is a symbolic gesture, but it recognizes the genuine history of Australia and to have that flag on the bridge will generate dialogue and educate people about the Indigenous people of this nation.”

Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, declared this week that the Aboriginal flag would be permanently displayed above Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge. The state flag is also replaced by it.

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