I’m currently delving into the history of flying flags on …

Comment on Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: it’s not over yet by Alex Nelson.

I’m currently delving into the history of flying flags on Anzac Hill.
The two current prominent flag poles were erected in 1989 as part of a major upgrade of the top of Anzac Hill commencing with the removal of the old watertank allowing for increased parking and improved traffic flow.
I think it was at this time that the NT flag first flew permanently at the top of Anzac Hill, alongside the national flag. This prompted the first call, by the Central Land Council in late 1989, to also fly the Aboriginal flag atop the hill, too – this was rejected by the Alice Springs Town Council.
What we all appear to have forgotten is that before 1989 there were four standard flag poles at the Anzac Memorial, these were used for flying the national flag and three armed services flags on special occasions such as Anzac Day and Armistice Day.
I can’t recall if the Commonwealth flag flew on its mast constantly but I think probably not as vandalism was a constant headache for the management of the memorial site.
However, what is definitely the case is that up until late 1989 nobody ever called for the flying of the Aboriginal flag or any others on top of Anzac Hill.
This debate was triggered by the deep political and ideological divide that existed in the NT during the early period of NT Self-Government, and what is occurring now is simply a renewal of this polarising argument by a new generation oblivious to recent political history.
It was a mistake to erect those two prominent flag poles in 1989 as they serve only to emphasise political division in our community.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Cattle company has win in live export ban case
Perhaps I’m reading more into this decision than is warranted but it occurs to me there is possibly a principle of law here which may have much wider application.
I’m thinking in terms of government policies and decisions that have an influence or impact on climate change without due regard to scientific advice.
Are there wider implications from this decision?
While this case may rest with the decision of the Federal Court if the Commonwealth Government opts not to appeal it, I can foresee a similar case being pursued in the High Court of Australia to resolve what degree of responsibility the Commonwealth (and, for that matter, the NT Government, which is a creature of Federal law) has in regard to abiding by professional, fully researched scientific advice.


Country Liberal Party: custodians ignored on gallery
@ Surprised! (Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:25 am): Too timid to use your own name, and too dumb to get another person’s name right. No credibility in your comment.


Country Liberal Party: custodians ignored on gallery
@ Jack (Posted May 29, 2020 at 2:11 pm): Whatever amount of money “we” decide to “stump up” gives us no right or authority to dictate terms to Indigenous people on how or where their art and culture may be displayed for others.
What they decide might not cost as much as $50m; indeed, it’s the NT Government, not custodians and TOs, that “stumped up” that sum of money so it’s hypocritical to blame the latter.
And, if custodians and TOs decide they don’t want to go down this path at all, then the money becomes a moot point, doesn’t it?


Country Liberal Party: custodians ignored on gallery
Basically, whether from the Labor or Country Liberals, the debate about the National Aboriginal Art Gallery, is all about cultural appropriation of Aboriginal art to suit the ambitions of politicians, bureaucrats and the business sector.
The entire process, subsequent to the steering committee report, has been (and continues to be) completely mishandled arse-about; surely it has to be resolved in the following manner:
1. Do the traditional custodians and owners of this region want or support the concept of a “national” art gallery, either on its own or as part of a cultural centre?
2. If they support this concept, where do they want it to be built?
The answers to these two basic questions would provide the guidance on whether this project is approved or not in the first place, and then (if approved) where it can be built.
It’s their art, their culture, so let’s allow the custodians and TOs to be the primary authority on this matter, and the rest of us to abide by their wishes accordingly.


CLP would build gallery at Desert Park, not Anzac precinct
@ Ray (Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:19 pm): The irony of your comment is that the Alice Springs Desert Park, when it was a concept promoted by the NT Government nearly 30 years ago, was touted as a major new attraction for Alice Springs that would attract and / or divert tourists from Uluru – yes, it was going to be the economic game-changer for Central Australia!
As was the casino at the beginning of NT self-government _ who remembers all those high-rollers from Asia it was going to attract to our fair town?
And then the Desert Knowledge Precinct, which would put Central Australia at the forefront of research and development for a billion customers in similar environments around the world! Hallelujah!
Not to mention the very original economic nirvana dreaming, the transcontinental railway from south to north that would open up access to the teeming markets of southeast Asia (that one dates from the 19th century colonial period of South Australia’s control of the Northern Territory).
And now we’ve got the National Aboriginal Art Gallery, just the latest mirage on the desert horizon that self-interested politicians and bureaucrats are urging upon us as the oasis of our economic salvation.


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