‘Woke Brigade’: City Council Panned for Flying 20 Different Flags, Including 9 LGBT

‘The Australian flag is the one flag that we all want to actually stay flying,’ said Council Watch President Dean Hurlston.
‘Woke Brigade’: City Council Panned for Flying 20 Different Flags, Including 9 LGBT
The annual New York City Pride March in New York City on June 25, 2023. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

A city council in Melbourne has been lambasted as a “true woke brigade” for flying 20 different flags throughout the year while removing the Australian flag on three occasions.

The Greens-governed City of Yarra on Dec. 5 announced its updated flag policy which it said aims to demonstrate the council’s “commitment to diversity and inclusivity.”
Flags will be raised at the council’s Clifton Hill depot and in three town halls—Richmond, Fitzroy, and Collingwood.

Details of the Flag Policy

Every location will display the Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag will be flown all year along with the Australian flag.

But the Australian flag will be taken down on Jan. 26, Australia Day, May 26, National Sorry Day, and April 15, the anniversary of the Aboriginal deaths in custody report.

The townhalls have separate civic flagpoles that are reserved for “flags that have special meaning” and that “symbolise and celebrate the diverse community of the City of Yarra,” the council said in a statement.

“In flying these flags, Council celebrates Yarra’s rich history and formally acknowledges the flag flown as one of significance to the City of Yarra.”

Among these are nine LGBT+ flags to be raised on 14 days, namely the aromantic, asexual, bisexual, intersex, intersex inclusive pride, lesbian pride, non-binary pride, pansexual pride, and the transgender flags.

The council will also fly one flag of the Sahwrawi Arab Democratic Republic—a west African state not formally recognised by the United Nations—on Feb. 27, as well as a United Nations flag on Oct. 24.

The Eureka flag—which has been used as a symbol of the republican movement, democracy and defiance in Australia—will be raised on Dec. 3.

The Morning Star flag—the flag of West Papua which has been banned the Indonesian authorities—is scheduled to be flown on Dec. 1.

One anti-nuclear weapon flag and three football flags are also included in the list.

Criticised For Pushing ‘Woke’ Causes While Ignoring Basic Services

Yarra Residents Collective spokesman Adam Promnitz accused the council of spending more time “tying themselves in knots over flags” than working on delivering basic services, according to the Herald Sun.

The opinion was echoed by Council Watch President Dean Hurlston, who alleged that the Yarra council had wasted $12 million (US$7.86 million) of taxpayer dollars to come up with “ridiculous policies when potholes are everywhere, streets are full of rubbish, and we can’t get the basics done.”

He added that the Australian flag was “the one flag that we all want to actually stay flying” and that the council needed a “reality check.”

“For Yarra to take it down and replace it regularly and then also to fly 20 other flags is just more evidence that councils, council officers, CEO, and executives are now the true woke brigade,” he told Sky News on Dec. 4.

An Australian flag on the coast of Tasman Sea in Australia in this file photo. (Matt King/Getty Images)
An Australian flag on the coast of Tasman Sea in Australia in this file photo. (Matt King/Getty Images)

Mr. Hurlston asked why the “straight pride flag” was not mentioned in the policy.

“Somehow straight people get lost in all of that, and as a gay man I just don’t understand any of this,” he said.

In a statement, the Yarra council said the flags “represent our community’s varied history, identity and diversity,” adding that 10 percent of the community identify as LGBT+.

“Yarra remains committed to flying flags which align with Council’s values and policies,” it said.

“The flying of flags symbolise identity, ensure people in our community feel heard and seen, promote respect and inclusion for all, raise awareness, and create a sense of community pride.”

The Epoch Times has reached out to Yarra City Council for comment.

Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural, and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at [email protected].