Flower power 

PERTH council house was lit up with the depiction of a sunflower this week in support of Ukraine as the former Soviet state faces Russian invasion. 

The sunflower is Ukraine’s national flower and it became a prominent symbol of peace in 1996: When Ukraine completed nuclear disarmament, sunflowers were planted in fields atop dismantled nuclear silos. 

Ukranian sunflowers gained a special link to Australia after the Malaysian airways flight MH17 was shot down by pro-Russia separatists and crashed near a Ukrainian sunflower field in 2014. Journalists Paul McGeough and Kate Geraghty collected seeds from the field and brought them back to families of the 38 Australian victims.

Last week the flowers of peace became a symbol of resistance with footage of a Ukrainian woman handing Russian soldiers seeds to keep in their pockets, “so at least sunflowers will grow when you all lie down here”. 

Along with council house, lights in Kings Park, Matagarup Bridge, and the Adelaide Terrace overpass also lit up in the blue and yellow of Ukraine’s flag, joining global landmarks like the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and London’s Nelson’s Column.

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