Friday, 14 October 2011

Will the Green Eureka Flag create controversy again?

Fifty Green Eureka Flags will fly in various communities around Australia from 12 noon on Sunday 16 October during the national day of action against coal seam gas extraction.

The original Eureka flag was a flag of the people, but in modern history its use by national and far left political parties has been controversial. The anti-coal seam gas movement is non political, uniting people of all political persuasions.

The Green Eureka Flag is an idea developed by Benjamin Wild, a young poet, who grew up in Quambone, Central NSW.

‘My motivation is driven purely by my farming background’, said Benjamin. ‘Our land, water, and what I thought were our rights, are being violated and sold out from under us by the governments that should represent us.’

‘The flag was adapted so that it might be used again by the people, or by anyone wanting to reclaim the origins of it's purpose - to protest against a government that undermines the rights of the people who put that government in power, and to get more national attention and awareness of coal seam gas extraction’s hugely detrimental agenda.’

The Green Eureka Flag may begin with coal seam gas, but Ben’s vision is that it should be flown whenever Australians protest against government initiatives which impact on the environment.

‘The events of the future rather than the past should determine its place,’ said Ben. ‘If people are genuine about defending their birthright to land, water, air and health- then that should be the premise upon which they unite, flag or not, and the flag should stand as a reminder to the governments, police and the mining companies- that it was on the grounds of the government treating miners so unfairly that led to the change of governance and the ‘birth of democracy in this country’.

Benjamin’s favourite aspect of this flag is the irony of the Green Eureka Flag. The blue and white Eureka Flag was made by miners during the gold rush at Ballarat, Victoria, in 1854. It was the symbol of a rebellion against the high prices of mining items, the expense of a miner’s license, taxation without representation, and the actions of the government, police and military.

‘Today, farmers and environmentalists are uniting under the same principles of fairness and equality with civil unrest against the governments, and this time, the miners,’ said Ben.

The Eureka Oath of Allegiance, ‘We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties’ is as true today as it was in 1854.

The first order of fifty flags (120 cm x 180 cm) has sold out. More have been ordered but will not be available until after 16 October.

Ben currently lives in Melbourne performing and working at various gigs and festivals around Australia, between the farming seasons.

Poem 'Eating Money’ by Benjamin Wild at

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