The Daily Telegraph today reported that organisers of the Aussie rock festival at Homebush, The Big Day Out, will confiscate any flag or bandana bearing the national flag at the gate, having branded it a "gang colour" and symbol of hostility. The concert falls on the day prior to Australia Day.
NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, and Labour leader, Kevin Rudd, have ridiculed the decision and Prime Minister, John Howard has called for the Big Day Out to be cancelled.
Organisers of the BDO claim they have been taken out of context, arguing on their website that the ban is a 'request not a command'
Organiser Ken West referred to last year's race riots at Cronulla and last week's riots at the Melbourne Tennis championships as justification for banning the flag.
"The Australian flag was being used as gang colours. It was racism disguised as patriotism and I'm not going to tolerate it.
Then ban or arrest those committing offences, Ken.
But a very telling line also slipped out when Mr West added the ban was also in part trying to be respectful to the Aboriginal community, who view Australia Day as invasion day.
The website continues,
Greenhouse gasses are causing irreparable climate change and endangering the future of our civilization....We are happy to announce that the Big Day Out will be adopting a “Carbon Neutral” emissions footprint for the 2007 show.
mmm. looks like a bunch of fully paid-up members of the self-hating class to me.
Australia Day, which was first officially held in 1818 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of white settlement, celebrates the fact that on January 26 in 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip took formal possession of the colony of New South Wales and became its first Governor.
Go to Homebush and wave the largest Aussie flag you can find.