Erwin Renaldi and Tasha Wibawa – The West Papuan Morning Star flag has been a point of contention across Indonesia for decades. For many West Papuans, it represents freedoms that have been taken away.
Every year on December 1 – the date the flag was first raised in 1961 – activists fly the Morning Star as a symbol of independence and resistance to incorporation into Indonesia.
They have supporters in many parts of the world: This year events were held in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Fiji, to name a few places.
But despite the many supporters, there are also many Indonesians who say the Morning Star flag actually represents a betrayal of the national motto "unity in diversity" and that their voices on the issue are not being heard.
"The reporting of West Papua is one-sided in Australia, that's why we feel we need to make a political statement," a member of the Sydney-based Indonesian community group Projo told the ABC on the condition of anonymity.
Just a few weeks ago a Morning Star flag-raising event at Leichhardt Town Hall in Sydney's inner west raised the ire of some Indonesians.
Indonesia's Consulate General in Sydney said it "regrets" that the council allowed "a symbol of separatism" to be raised, adding that it could be "misinterpreted to represent support from the Australian Government".
Others, like Indonesian-born Sydney taxi driver Hendra Ong, said the move by the council was "offensive and humiliating".
"The decision for flying the flag at the town hall degrades and insults Indonesia as a nation," he told the ABC.
In a statement, the council told the ABC it had been raising the flag for a number of years and was "not aware of receiving any complaints from the general public".
However, the Indonesian Consulate General has "objected to the flag-raising in writing most years", it said.
'Even if the cost is death'
Papua and West Papua are Indonesia's easternmost provinces, and commonly referred to internationally as West Papua.
The region has been embroiled in conflict on and off ever since its incorporation into Indonesia in 1963.
The latest flare-ups earlier this year, in which protesters clashed with authorities, resulted in dozens of deaths and injuries.
Rights groups say there are continual human rights abuses, while foreign media are routinely denied access to the region.
Authorities also recently charged Indonesian human rights lawyer Veronica Koman, who was hiding in Australia, for being a "provocateur" and for "spreading hoaxes".
The Indonesian Government remains firm in its stance that the region is part of a unified Indonesia and has been since a United Nations-backed referendum, and that any unrest is a domestic issue.
For some Indonesians, such as Diana Pratiwi, who lives in Melbourne, West Papua should "not be allowed independence", however flying the flag was simply "a symbol of Papuan culture" and "freedom of expression".
But for others, the flag is less tolerable.
A number of Indonesian community groups in New South Wales have called on members to create videos showing their support for a united Indonesia, which includes West Papua as an ingrained part of the country.
One video showed a group of men and women wearing red and white – the colours of the Indonesian flag – and yelling: "We are Indonesia, Papua is our brother. A united Indonesia, even if the cost is death."
The video aimed to counter the narrative by the Papuan pro-independence activists in Australia, the community group Projo said.
Remnants of East Timor 'trauma' continues
Richard Chauvel, West Papua researcher from the University of Melbourne, said the deep fears about foreign interference stemmed from the "trauma" felt by Indonesians following Australia's involvement in East Timor.
"There is great suspicion... across Indonesia about any interest, any statement of whatever nature by any section of Australian society about West Papua given that history on East Timor," Dr Chauvel said.
"It reflects back on the role that Australia played in 1999... and how [East Timor independence] has been interpreted and understood by Indonesians and politicians until today."
There is much debate over exactly what role Australia played during East Timor's move to independence but it was clearly a significant one and included leading a multinational peacekeeping force during 1999 and 2000.
As for the situation in West Papua today, the Australian Government has remained largely silent on the recent violence and will only say that it urges "all sides to avoid violence and exercise restraint".
Dr Chauvel said under the Lombok Treaty of 2006, Australia and Indonesia agreed to respect each other's sovereignty and would not support "separatist movements".