Bishop Takes Queen

Hot on the heels of moves in the far-right of the US Republican Party to amend the US constitution to ban flag-burning, large-L Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop has urged the same.* As I’ve argued recently, this may well breach the Australian constitution. But a better reason not to do it is to have a look at a few countries that are so insecure about their national identity that they need to jail flag-burners.

  • China
  • North Korea
  • Iran
  • Cuba

Australia is a bigger country than Ms Bishop’s proposal suggests. What we should be defending are our values, not our ensigns. We already have laws against inciting racial violence – we don’t need laws to defend the Southern Cross and the Union Jack.

* I did a radio interview on this issue yesterday with 2GB’s Angela Bishop (daughter of) and Jason Morrison. Needless to say, I didn’t persuade them.

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5 Responses to Bishop Takes Queen

  1. Sacha Blumen says:

    Here here, Andrew. I quite like the stance of US liberals that the freedom of expression includes the freedom to burn their flag. Even if large numbers of citizens find the practise abhorrent, the ability to burn the flag should be part of the political discourse in the US, as well as in Australia.

    Why is it that the flag should be sacred and not questioned in this manner? I suspect that the member for Mackellar wouldn’t have an answer to this question. Shouldn’t everything be open for questioning, including the basic values held by many Australian citizens and/or the values underpinning the State?

  2. Guy says:

    Andrew, you are right on the money here.

  3. A law against the burning of the flag is a law with no just basis. Who does such an action harm?

    Neither person nor property are harmed by people symbolically destroying a symbol. Freedom of expression (and even if our constitution doesn’t protect it, its a right all the same) includes the freedom to express contempt for the state and the nation, to burn the flag.

  4. Thomas Wertheim says:

    Bronwyn Bishop,monkey see,monkey do.

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