Labor proposes ban on UK flag

The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 April 1996, p.8.

The Federal Opposition yesterday signalled moves to try to stop the Union Jack from being flown over public buildings.

The Labor leader, Mr Kim Beazley, said the Opposition was considering trying to amend the flag legislation to ensure the Australian flag was the only one flown over official institutions. The move follows a decision by the Queensland Government to fly the British flag over State Parliament, which Mr Beazley described as unacceptable.

"I object to anybody flying, above official institutions, anything other than the Australian flag," Mr Beazley told Channel 7's Face to Face program. "In public buildings I think it's appropriate that the Australian flag should take pride of place, pre-eminence and perhaps exclusivity."

On Anzac Day last week, the Prime Minister Mr John Howard, announced plans to amend the Flags Act to ensure the Australian flag could be changed only through a plebiscite or referendum.

Mr Beazley said the Opposition would not block the change but might move its own amendment. "We might, for example, start to see whether or not there couldn't be an amendment to his legislation, which obliged people to only fly Australian flags over public buildings..." He said there would be exceptions on some State occasions.

The legislation covers Federal buildings, such as Parliament and post offices, but would set a protocol for other institutions.

© Ausflag 2017