Flag ban at Big Day Out gets the knees a-jerking
Monday January 22nd 2007, 8:25 am

Big Day Out organisers are working overtime to prevent the day-long annual concert from being turned into a race-hatefest. The date has been shifted to a day before Australia Day and BDO attendees will be banned from bringing Aussie flags into the venue.

The SMH quotes BDO organiser Ken West:

“The Australian flag was being used as gang colours. It was racism disguised as patriotism and I’m not going to tolerate it,” Mr West said.

That didn’t stop Parliamentary Secretary Andrew Robb and RSL national president Bill Crews from jerking their knees right up to their cheekbones.

Mr Robb said the flag was not the problem and should not be banned.

“If they have got a security problem, they need to deal with that, not with the flag. The flag is a symbol of unity,” he told the Nine Network.

Robb’s right that the flag itself isn’t a problem.

The RSL weighs in:

RSL national president Bill Crews said he would back the concert being cancelled if the flag ban continued.

“We’d certainly support that approach if they don’t want to change their mind on the banning of the flag,” he told Nine.

NSW Premier Morris Iemma once again gets it totally arse-about:

“It’s not for the organisers to treat our flag with such disrespect. It’s an outrageous position and it needs to be withdrawn, withdrawn immediately.”

BDO’s West is actually objecting to disrespectful display of the Aussie flag, not mere display. When you think about it, proper display of the flag would involve a flagpole- and safety-minded organisers would not want 20,000 people in close quarters on a hot day to have long bits of timber or tubing at hand, ready to swing at one another.

This Pshop toon I did about a year ago might come in handy for the BDO- at every entry gate.

Spot the difference!

In the wake of the December 2005 Cronulla riots, there’s only one message sent by wearing your Aussie flag as a cape- “I’m a racist yob.”

You’d think Iemma, Robb and the RSL would get behind discouraging disrespectful display of the Aussie flag on any day, not just at the Big Day Out or on Australia Day.

-weez

MORE: BDO have released a statement saying they didn’t ban Aussie flags:

We state unequivocally that flags will not be banned at any Australian Big Day Out show in the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately the media reports yesterday were not quoted accurately and we must thank the participating media for wasting everybody’s time including the Prime Minister John Howard, Premier Morris Iemma, NSW RSL President Don Rowe, Keysar Trad (a confidant of the Mufti Sheik Taj el-Dene Elhilaly) and Burt Lane of the Australian National Flag Association…

BDO just don’t want large flags in the venue. Small flags are OK. Yobs will find a way to test the rules, nonetheless.


7 Comments so far
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The BDO is like a drunken yob convention. Anyone who’s actually been to the BDO can tell you that. The only problem now is that because of this knee-jerking I bet more people will bring flags and stir shit.

Comment by Oz 01.22.07 @ 11:01 am

Do you really beleive that our pollies and pundits aren’t aware of the way patriotism is being used as a cloak for racism?

Bullshit. Blind freddy could tell what’s going on. But that streak of passive racism in Australian culture runs deep and strong – and since little Johnnie lead the way, the other political opportunists in this land are no longer ashamed to exploit it. How fucking dare they… jockeying Australia’s future for short term point scoring. Because as Cronulla demonstrated, Australia’s racist streak may not be so passive for too much longer.

Comment by Marcus 01.23.07 @ 9:45 am

Marcus wrote: “…as Cronulla demonstrated, Australia’s racist streak may not be so passive…”

Through being active racists themselves, John Howard and Petey The C have set the community standard. The riots at Cronulla were Howard’s political chickens coming home to roost.

Comment by weez 01.24.07 @ 5:07 pm

[...] I’ll throw in an acknowledgment to MGK for some of the ideas behind this post too. [...]

Pingback by Le Rayon Vert » I condemn those who disrespect the flag, and I condemn the Big Day Out 01.25.07 @ 6:11 pm

to say our flag shud be banned anywere it the most UN AUSTRALIAN dogs act ther is no matta our ausie blood died for this country years and years ago and still is in iraq trying to make this country safer.and who says its gang colours is bulls…t.if u live in austrlia u r an aussie and shud love the flag because its ur colours to say YES IM A AUSTRALIAN AND IM F>>>KNN PROUD ITS the people trying to start trouble saying it shud be banned that will make racisn because of the muslims they want to live in our country but dont want to go with our rules and our way of life well they EASY PACK OUR BAGS GET OUT

Comment by bob 03.01.07 @ 9:20 am

U DONT LIKE THE WAY WE LOVE OUR COUNTRY AND SAY WE SHUDNT SHOW IT THEM u who want difernt pack ur stuff cya later

Comment by bob 03.01.07 @ 9:21 am

The preceding two comments by “bob,” posted from a machine at 203.208.91.217 (libby.whc.vic.edu.au), were brought to you by Western Heights College of Geelong, VIC, a year 7-12 skool ware thay teech them pimply boyz to reed & rite PROPA.

Comment by weez 03.01.07 @ 11:39 am



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