In case you missed it, the Cathy Freeman doco Freeman aired on the ABC tonight. Viewers around the country used it as an opportunity to look back on the runner’s historic gold medal win at the Olympics 20 years ago.

That is, except Victorian state Liberal MP Tim Smith, who decided to tweet a bunch of dumb shit about the Aboriginal flag and then pretend it was others who were causing the problem.

It all started when ABC Radio National presenter Patricia Karvelas casually reminisced about how moving it was when Freeman waved the Aboriginal flag after winning gold.

“I cried when [Cathy Freeman] draped the Aboriginal flag around her and the people around me were also crying. It was magical,” she said on Twitter

For those too young to remember, Freeman’s massive win instantly made her one of the most iconic athletes in the country, and it was also one of the first times the Aboriginal flag was waved on the world stage.

Of course, waving an Aboriginal flag in any context, not just in an Olympic stadium, is a very normal thing to do and is not the business of any white dude who’s weirdly hung up about flags.

None of that stopped Smith from trotting out a bunch of tired and offensive talking points which had nothing to do with the original tweet, other than to start a fight about flags.

“All I cared about was an Australian just kicked the rest of the world’s collective butt in the 400m which is a really, really tough event,” he wrote.

“Leave the politics out of sport.”

While it might seem like he’s applauding Freeman’s win, explicitly telling people not to focus on the flag makes it pretty clear how he really feels about the moment.

In another, unrelated tweet, Karvelas simply tweeted three red, yellow and black hearts – the colours of the Aboriginal flag.

To this completely innocuous tweet, Smith popped up yet again and decided to reply with an Australian flag emoji.

“You do know she’s Aboriginal yeah?” Karvelas wrote.

“No need to bring the culture wars here, it’s boring and so twenty years ago.”

Smith then somehow twisted things around to blame Karvelas for reigniting the culture wars, and then called Freeman “a legend” as a shield.

Karvelas continued: “By using Aboriginal coloured love hearts? Love hearts trigger you? I think she’s made her feelings about that issue clear mate.”

The Aboriginal flag (along with the Torres Strait Islander flag and Southern Cross flag) is one of the three official flags of Australia. And even if it wasn’t… so what?

There is literally no reason to by bothered by someone being proud of their culture and waving their flag.

Here’s a tip, Tim: If you’re bothered by an Aboriginal person waving an Aboriginal flag, it’s clearly not the flag that’s the problem.

Maybe get off Twitter, expel the hate from your heart, and shut the fuck up.

Image: Getty Images / Nick Wilson