Torn flag causes anger on anniversary of Eureka

TORN FLAG: Ballarat Regional Trades and Labor Council secretary Brett Edgington at the Bakery Hill roundabout with a damaged Eureka Flag before it was replaced later on Monday (inset). Picture: Luka Kauzlaric
TORN FLAG: Ballarat Regional Trades and Labor Council secretary Brett Edgington at the Bakery Hill roundabout with a damaged Eureka Flag before it was replaced later on Monday (inset). Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

Brett Edgington is angry. 

He stands looking up at the Eureka flag raised on the flag pole at Bakery Hill in despair on the morning of the 164th anniversary of Eureka.

He says the flag is torn and looks like a ‘blue piece of material the size of a handkerchief’. 

“For people who are coming into Ballarat down Victoria Street to commemorate Eureka this morning, it is a pretty sad sight,” the Ballarat Regional Trades and Labour Council secretary told The Courier before the flag had been replaced. 

“For a city that capitalises on the Eureka story for tourism and uses the Eureka logo all over material and uses it for commercial gain, this flag shows utter disrespect for Eureka.”

The Courier  was at the Bakery Hill flag site at 11.30am to take this photo. 

A City of Ballarat spokesperson later confirmed the flag had been replaced during the day, explaining it was dislodged following high winds at the weekend. 

More than 400 people attended City of Ballarat’s Eureka Centre Community Day on Sunday to celebrate the re-opening of the updated Eureka Centre permanent exhibition.

The Eureka Day Commemoration Service held at the Eureka Circle on Monday attracted more than 50 community members who remembered those who died in the Eureka Stockade.

The torn flag at Bakery Hill on Monday morning. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

The torn flag at Bakery Hill on Monday morning. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

City of Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said the events that happened 164 years ago have not only shaped Ballarat but also Australia and other parts of the world.  

“The influx of young, ambitious, enterprising people from nations across the world brought an influx of new ideas and experiences to Ballarat… Their protests on the goldfields were cries from the heart for new democratic rights in a new world built on endeavor,” she said. 

“Since that time, the Eureka Stockade has been increasingly integrated into Ballarat’s story of achievements.”

City of Ballarat has begun community engagement on the future of the Eureka Centre, with plans to develop an Interpretation Plan which will set new objectives for telling the Eureka story. 

Community members can participate in an online survey to share what they love about the story and what is imagined for the future of the centre until March 31.