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 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.
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 It’s an outrageous position and it needs to be withdrawn, withdrawn immediately.”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.
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.
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.
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