I truly do not know if shock should be the prevailing response to this, or indeed what level of shock is appropriate, but nevertheless: In amongst the throng of domestic terrorists attempting to forcefully subvert the US democracy who stormed the US Capitol building, a lone Australian flag has been spotted.
Militant right-wing Trump supporters invaded the Capitol building earlier this morning Australian time, after being directly incited by outgoing President Donald Trump.
Amongst the litany of pro-Trump, pro-Police, and pro-facism flags being flown by the mob, news cameras picked up an Australian flag being proudly wielded by an unidentified rioter.
NBC News cameras covering the extraordinary scenes captured the Australian flag in the middle of the braying mob earlier today, although the identity of the person waving it was not immediately apparent.
Anyone else see this Australian flag?? Am i missing something? pic.twitter.com/SIildtVD3o
— Ryan Rowe (@ryrowe27) January 6, 2021
— Goldie Smith (@goldiemurie) January 6, 2021
It’s absolutely worth noting that this Australian connection isn’t entirely unexpected. Sky News Australia specifically has long been a platform from which the worst narratives of Trumpism were platformed. And although its TV viewership is relatively minuscule, its online platform – which reaches audiences far beyond Australian shores – numbers in the millions.
probably a good time to note that Sky News Australia played a part in creating this fantasy that the election was stolen, laying the ground for the insurrection. pic.twitter.com/RxGrM8gBhD
— CAMERONWILSON (@cameronwilson) January 6, 2021
Even today, Sky has taken a hands off approach to coverage of the Capitol siege, insisting those involved were merely “Trump fans.”
"Fans gathered" pic.twitter.com/yYgVNXaIpX
— Josh Taylor (@joshgnosis) January 6, 2021
The US Capitol invasion came as Congress was commencing its ceremonial count of Electoral College votes, which all US states have certified and confirm Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. This is the last step in the lengthy election process before Biden is formally inaugurated on January 20th.
Trump has been tweeting furiously throughout the ordeal, however Twitter has taken the extraordinary step of first blocking all engagement and placing disclaimers on his posts, and now deleting his Tweets as they are posted.
There are growing calls for Twitter to remove Trump’s account altogether, as his open incitement of violence and riot shows little sign of abating.