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Abbott’s love for Ukraine flags

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Tony Abbott’s taxpayer-funded enthusiasm for flags extended beyond the national Australian pennant, according to a parliamentary document.

The ex-Prime Minister was regularly surrounded by flags at press conferences, but surprisingly it was an eastern European nation that topped the list of purchases.

BuzzFeed Oz obtained documents that showed 110 Ukrainian flags were bought by the former Prime Minister’s office in the 2014/15 year at a cost of more than $5200.

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It was topped only by the Australian flag, with 171 units costing nearly $10,700.

By comparison, just $218 was spent on three Aboriginal flags.

In total, the list of more than 900 national pennants from around the world came in at more than $110,000.

Senator Penny Wong originally requested the documents.

According to a letter from Senator George Brandis to Senator Wong, the flags were for use during state visits and during the 2014 G20 summit, BuzzFeed Oz reported.

There was only one government visit from Ukrainian officials, including president Petro Poroshenko, in 2014.

In a two-day stay, Mr Poroshenko attended a prayer vigil in Melbourne for the victims of the downed MH17 plane and also visited Canberra and Sydney.

Mr Abbott’s flag obsession was even tracked, with The Guardian reporting a high of eight Australian blue, white and red standards at a single appearance.

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