Culture

The Victorian Greens Have Put Their Logo On The Aboriginal Flag And People Are Mighty Unimpressed

Poor form, dudes :/

The Greens’ social media presence is often like the groovy guidance counsellor at a school camp — earnest and well-meaning, but not always entirely up on what The Kids are into these days #satire.

More seriously, they’ve also been criticised for a tendency to take all the credit for progressive reform and downplay the contributions of people who aren’t them; the Greens Taking Credit For Things Facebook page was started by some annoyed Young Labor people after Greens MP Adam Bandt claimed “victory” when Melbourne’s East-West Link tollway was scrapped — a decision that was actually made by the newly-elected Labor state government.

Sometimes it’s gone even further than that, most notably via the sneaky placement of Greens logos where they’re not welcome. Numerous Labor MPs were furious in October last year when the Greens posted an image of the recently-deceased Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam with their logo slapped on it — one Labor pollie, Tim Watts, called it “grave-robbing,” while senior minister Anthony Albanese said it was “cheap, opportunistic and offensive”.

None of which is super interesting unless you’re particularly invested in one side or the other — Labor and the Greens don’t like each other very much, and politicians will take any excuse to be outraged at something done by a rival. But that habit of shoehorning themselves into places where they’re not necessarily wanted has blown up in their faces this afternoon, after the Victorian Greens put this image on various social media channels this afternoon:

Screenshot 2015-08-06 at 4.51.23 PM

It’s part of a push by the state Greens to fly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags out the front of Victoria’s Parliament House; Greens state MP Ellen Sandell claims she’s consulted with members of local Indigenous communities to get their okay for the idea, and plenty of other Parliaments do the same as a mark of respect for Australia’s first peoples. Whatever your intentions, though, putting your party logo over the Aboriginal flag is a pretty tone-deaf and insensitive thing to do, and both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people on Twitter haven’t been shy about saying so.

The Victorian Greens have since taken the images down.