One way we have chosen to do this is by spreading awareness of indigenous and LGBTQI issues by flying flags on the St Andrews Uniting church.
Flags have been flown for 1000’s of years to catch the eye and lift the heart. Chinese warlords flew the original flags on their sailing ships; they were made of silk and designed to inspire both respect and awe.
Many months ago our Church Council decided to purchase and hang two beautiful flag. Both as signs of respect, recognition and welcome. Now thanks to our lovely Artist in Residence Anna and another member of the POCMOCO theatre crew who rehearse in our hall the flags are up!
Christianity, as we know, has a long history of colonization and oppression running within its many paths. Despite theological and cultural shifts many people still believe that ours is a church that is colonial and anti gay. By hanging these flags we are giving our community a visible sign that we are a space of inclusion and respect for all God’s people.
A wee history of the flags…
The rainbow flag was popularized as a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride and diversity by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. This version is also sometimes called 'the freedom flag'. ...
It is most commonly flown with the red stripe on top, as the colors appear in a natural rainbow. The rainbow flag, commonly known as the gay pride flag or LGBTQTI pride flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer pride and social movements.
The Australian Aboriginal Flag was designed by artist Harold Thomas and first flown at Victoria Square in Adelaide, South Australia, on National Aborigines Day, 12 July 1971. It became the official flag for the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra after it was first flown there in 1972.
Since then, it has become a widely recognized symbol of the unity and identity of Aboriginal people.
The Aboriginal flag is divided horizontally into halves. The top half is black and the lower half red. There is a yellow circle in the center of the flag.
The meanings of the three colors in the flag, as stated by Harold Thomas, are:
- Black – represents the Aboriginal people of Australia
- Yellow circle – represents the Sun, the giver of life and protector
. Red – represents the red earth, the red ochre used in ceremonies and Aboriginal peoples’ spiritual relation to the land