BALLARAT'S Eureka flag was a symbol of militant unions and did not deserve to fly above Parliament House, Liberal backbencher Alan Cadman has said.
He criticised a proposal put before the House of Representatives this week to proclaim Eureka a national flag.
Mr Cadman, who is the Member for Mitchell, denounced the proposal in parliament as "absolute rubbish" during a speech by Ballarat MHR Catherine King.
Ms King is campaigning to have the Eureka flag recognised under the Flags Act so it can fly above Parliament House for the 150th anniversary of the Eureka uprising next year.
During her address to parliament, the proposal was mocked and jeered by at least three government MPs, including Employment Services Minister Mal Brough.
Mr Cadman defended his interjection in parliament, yesterday telling The Courier the Eureka flag was a symbol of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union. He said the meaning Ballarat people attached to the flag was different to that of the rest of Australia.
"To me Eureka (the symbol) stands for something completely different ... I don't think it has the same status of recognition as any of the other (national) flags."
Mr Brough was also vocal in his criticism, downplaying the Eureka Stockade in parliament as a little colonial dispute. Mr Brough didn't return The Courier's calls yesterday.
Despite the objections, Ms King remains resolute the fight will go on.
She said the comments showed a lot of ignorance, particularly from the Government's point of view.
"They sit in parliament and make gratuitous comments about an issue that clearly they don't understand, and I think it's an insult to the people of Ballarat," Ms King said.
The proposal has been listed for parliamentary debate but needs the backing of other members to make it to the floor.
If it is unsuccessful, Ms King will consider introducing a private member's bill.