Eureka Stockade

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The Eureka Flag

The Eureka Stockade is the name given to a rebellion by gold miners at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. It took place at sunrise, on December 3, 1854. The miners refused to pay a licence fee to look for gold. The miners said that the money for the licence was a tax, and that if they had to pay tax then they should be represented in the parliament. Irish miner Peter Lalor became the leader of the miners. They built a fort, or stockade, on Bakery Hill above the gold diggings on the Eureka gold lead. They were attacked by the British Army. More than 30 people were killed.

Flag[change | change source]

The Eureka Flag in the Ballarat Art Gallery

The miners made their own flag which was flown at the Eureka Stockade. The flag was torn down during the battle and taken away by one of the soldiers. It was given to the Ballarat Art Gallery in the 1890s. Pieces of the flag were sometimes given to important visitors to Ballarat. It is believed that Queen Elizabeth II has a small piece. In the 1973 the flag was restored and put on display at the Art Gallery.[1] The display was opened by the Prime Minister of Australia, Gough Whitlam. The flag has been put on the Victorian Heritage Register and was named an icon by the National Trust in 2006.[2] In August 2010, the Ballarat Art Gallery said that the flag needed further work to keep it safe.[3] It was sent to South Australia to be restored at a cost of more than AU$100,000.[4] The Gallery has built a new airtight case to hold the flag.

A symbol[change | change source]

The flag has often been used as a symbol of rebellion. Trade unions used the flag in their marches. The Prime Minister, John Howard, banned the flag from being flown on building sites.[2][5]

In 2008, the Football Federation of Australia tried to stop the flag from being flown by supporters of the soccer team, Melbourne Victory. They said it was against their rules for teams to use political symbols.[2] People with the flag would be made to leave the football ground.

Many nationalist groups have started to use the flag as a symbol. It was used during the racial riots at Cronulla, New South Wales. People are concerned that it will become a symbol of leaving people out, and not a symbol of Australian democracy. [6]

References[change | change source]