Sunday, July 25, 2004

burn, baby burn

Its OK to burn flags. And that's fine by me. Paul Hopkinson, a school-teacher who was charged with burning the flag at an anti-Howard protest, has had his conviction overturned, saving himself $730.00. He will have a good story to tell his kids at school.

Apparently, it was the first time the charge, under The Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act 1981 had been used.

And it will no doubt be the last similar charge.

However I do remember one Manu Caddie getting into trouble a few years ago for the same thing in an anti-war demonstration in Wellington. Last year he was involved in a competition to decide whether to get a new flag or keep the existing one

However, the police can still arrest people for burning the flag, with the emphasis on burning, not on flag.

As No Right Turn said a while back ,if Wellington area controller Inspector Marty Grenfell thought that the use of fire in crowded situations was dangerous, they wouldn't be arresting people for "dishonouring the flag". They`d be arresting people for "playing silly buggers with matches".

Add it to the list of the many NZ stories that has made the International media in the past few days.

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