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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 13397

Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (16:07): I wish to express my extreme disappointment with the recent reported decision of the Army to remove the motto 'In this sign conquer' from the 102-year-old hat badges of Army chaplains because it is perceived as offensive to Muslims. The vast majority of our Islamic community would take no offence at this, for it has nothing to do with the Crusades whatsoever. This decision is nothing other than appeasement of political correctness, and it is the decision to remove this that in itself is divisive in our community. Feeling offended is the price that we pay for living in our free, open and tolerant democracy. Just because it is perceived that something might cause offence does not give anyone the right to demand the obliteration of parts of our military tradition and our military symbols.

These badges were likely worn from the beaches of Gallipoli to the mud of the Somme and from Kokoda, Changi and Long Tan to the deserts of Iraq. We must protect them, because they represent our history, our heritage, our traditions and our values. What is next? State emblems? The Victoria Cross, the rising sun badge and our coat of arms, which all have the Maltese cross as part of their design?

A fortnight ago at Remembrance Day we read the poem In Flanders Field. The last sentences are:

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe—

(Time expired)