Vietnam War her Michael von Berg wants Green Party leader Adam Bandt to apologize for removing Australian flag at press conference

A decorated Vietnam war hero has demanded a public apology from Adam Bandt for removing the Australian flag from a press conference and forging the leader of the Greens to anger former and serving members of the armed forces over his “deliberate stunt”. READ THE ENTIRE LETTER.

A decorated Military Cross officer is demanding a public apology from Green leader Adam Bandt, who refused to stand in front of the Australian flag this week.

A journalist witnessed an employee of Mr Bandt move the national flag to the side of the room – leaving the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islander behind the rostrum – ahead of a press conference in Sydney’s Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices on Monday.

The Green leader spoke about why the Australian flag was taken out of the camera image, saying it was due to the “lingering pain” it represented to indigenous peoples, arguing that Australia had “a lot of work to do” against racism.

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Michael von Berg, national president of The Royal Australian Regiment and a combat soldier in the Vietnam War, wrote a scathing letter to Mr Bandt accusing him of dishonoring the national flag.

The war hero told that he saw the press conference live when he was left “surprised” and “very angry” at the “stunt” that unfolded.

“I actually saw it live, and personally I thought it was a mistake,” Mr von Berg said.

“When they only showed the Aboriginal flag and the Torres Strait flag, I thought, ‘that’s weird.’

“Then I saw it to one side, and when he came and spoke, I obviously thought this was a deliberate stunt. I was surprised and very angry.”

In the letter, Mr von Berg criticized the leader of the Greens for the “poor and pathetic advertising stunt” and described his actions as a “disgrace” that deserved to be condemned in public.

He claimed it was insulting to Australian society as well as to “all” past and present soldiers and maids who served under the flag.

“The Australian Armed Forces and those in active service have unfortunately lost good friends and soldiers under that flag (and) we find it offensive a person who has not worn a uniform or served the country or done the hard yards, and dishonors our members and flags in such a way, “he said.

The letter was addressed to Mr Bandt with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and opposition leader Peter Dutton also sending a copy.

Sir. von Berg disagreed with Mr Bandt’s remarks, saying the Australian flag is a “persistent pain” for aboriginals and Australia “had a lot of work to do with racism”.

The recipient of the Military Cross served with the members of the Aborigines when he commanded the Reconnaissance Platoon of 5RAR on the first round trip in Vietnam in 1966/67.

He stressed that he could not speak for the original society, but believes that Mr Bandt “generalized”.

“The long-term pain statement is shared by only a small part of society as a whole, but overall, he is far off the beaten track,” he said.

“He sensationalizes, he generalizes, and that is not the view of the wider community and the wider Aboriginal or Torres Strait community.”

Sir. von Berg calls the leader of the Greens to apologize for insulting veteran war heroes and current serving members tasked with keeping Australia safe.

“I think a general apology is warranted because it’s not just the veterans community or servants he has offended,” he told

“What he did not realize when we signed is that you sign a lot of basic human rights.

“The symbol that binds us as troops or as a battalion or squadron is the national flag.

He concluded that Mr Bandt’s actions were “unfounded”.


Dear Mr Bandt,


On behalf of our membership and the veterans community and their families, your bad and pathetic publicity stunt of dishonoring our Australian national flag is a disgrace and deserves condemnation.

Not only is it an insult to the nation in general, but to every soldier and woman who has proudly served this country under our flag in war and peace, but to the many who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and laid to rest with the Australian national flags draped on their coffin.

Symbols and pranks do nothing to support our native and Torres Strait Island brothers and sisters, where many of us in the ADF have had the great honor of serving with and in some cases struggling with and sadly burying.

The members of the ADF are color blind, and we have done more than many other sections of society in integration, acceptance and working together at times, under the most extreme and stressful circumstances based on marriage, mutual respect, grave humor and good old-fashioned Australian values.

Sir. Tied, we all make mistakes, and in this case, it would not be wrong to admit that you have exaggerated and that you apologize to the nation, but especially to those who have and still serve in the ADF.

For your conscience, as the servant of the Crown, there seems to be some conflict and considerable hypocrisy in your actions and lack of respect for our Australian national flag as you continue to deduct your parliamentary salary and benefits.

If your action and goal was to divide the nation, this goal has failed, especially within our ADF and veterans community, where the Australian national flag, under which we have all proudly and bravely served, is the glue that binds and defines us.

We demand your public apology.

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