A Change.org petition to allow the Aboriginal Flag to be used freely blew through the 100,000 signature mark overnight, as frustration and disbelief mounted across Australia at the licencing of the flag ahead of this weekend’s AFL Indigenous Round.
Following Collingwood Football Club’s leadership, several AFL clubs and high profile ex-players are backing the campaign but the AFL’s CEO Gillon McLachlan, has yet to speak publicly on the issue.
A non-Indigenous company has held the licence to the Aboriginal Flag since 2018 and actively sends cease and desist letters to users, including the Australian Football League.
The petition was started by Clothing The Gap, an Aboriginal owned and led social-enterprise, after receiving their own Cease and Desist, and are campaigning for the flag to be able to be freely used by all, including the AFL Indigenous round.
“The AFL fans and players will miss the iconic Aboriginal flag from the AFL Indigenous round this week because our much-loved symbol of pride and identity is held to ransom.
“This week could be the tipping point in the campaign and we hope that leadership from the AFL and its teams creates social and political change to Free the Flag so we can move forward displaying it proudly.
“You have to ask, should a non-Indigenous business be allowed to profit off Aboriginal peoples' identity and love for their flag, as well as hold to ransom the much-loved and supported AFL Indigenous Round this weekend?” said Laura Thompson, Gunditjmara woman, Free The Flag petition starter and Clothing the Gap Managing Director and Founder.
“It's incredible to see over 100,000 Australians stand with Clothing the Gap and their Free the Flag campaign. This is one of many self-determined campaigns on the Change.org Australia platform started by First Nations women, and we're incredibly proud to support it," said Nic Holas, Change.org Australia Campaigns Director.
Change.org is supporting Clothing the Gap with their Free the Flag campaign.