Old Glory doesn’t need protecting

June 28, 2006 |

Thank goodness the US Senate has applied some of its legendary smarts and failed to ratify the “flag burning” amendment to the US Constitution.  Though just.  The New York Times reports it fell just one short of the 2/3 majority.  Whew!  A bit too close comrades.  Even so if the vote had gone to the states there is no guarantee that it would have got the required 38 states to ratify the amendment to the constitution. 

There is a passing relevance for Australia because our Bronnie of Bishop fame has taken up the conservative cudgels and wants to ban flag burning and other sorts of naughtiness in her Protection of the Australian National Flag (Desecration of the Flag) Bill 2006.  What a load of tosh it is too.  Here it is in all its glory.

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the Criminal Code Act

1995 to prevent the destruction or desecration of

 

the Australian National Flag

 

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1 Short title

 

This Act may be cited as the Protection of the Australian National

 

Flag (Desecration of the Flag) Act 2006

 

2 Commencement

 

This Act commences on the day on which it receives the Royal  Assent.

 

2 Protection of the Australian National Flag (Desecration of the Flag) Bill 2006

 

3 Schedule(s)

2

ach Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or

repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule  concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect  according to its terms.

Protection of the Australian National Flag (Desecration of the Flag) Bill 2006 3

 

 

Schedule 1—Amendment of the Criminal Code  Act 1995

 

1. After section 132.9

 

Insert:

 

Desecration of the Australian National Flag

 

132.10 (1)A person who desecrates the Australian National Flag by wilfully  destroying or otherwise mutilating the Australian National Flag in circumstances where a reasonable person would infer that the destruction or mutilation is intended publicly to express contempt or disrespect for the Flag or  the Australian Nation shall be guilty of an offence.

 

Penalty: 100 penalty units or six months imprisonment

 

(2) In subsection (1) the Australian National Flag is as provided in the  Flags Act 1953.

A truly dopey piece of legislation that deserves to languish in the bowels of the Australian Parliamentary building. 

 

 

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