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Flags (Protection of Australian Flags) Amendment Bill 2008

Schedule 1 Amendment of the Flags Act 1953


1  After section 7


7A   Desecration or destruction of the Australian National Flag or a proclaimed flag

             (1)  It is an offence for a person, without reasonable excuse, to wilfully damage or destroy in any manner, burn or deface, defile, mutilate or trample upon or otherwise desecrate:

                     (a)  the Australian National Flag; or

                     (b)  any other flag proclaimed by the Governor-General in accordance with section 5.

P enalty:

                     (a)  2 penalty units; or

                     (b)  a community service order.

             (2)  In proceedings for an offence against subsection (1), it is a defence if the person has destroyed, burnt or otherwise dealt with the Australian National Flag or a proclaimed flag in accordance with subsection (1) because it has become worn, soiled or damaged in normal usage.

Note 1:       Proclaimed flags include the Australian Aboriginal Flag, the Torres Strait Islander Flag, the Australian Defence Force Ensign, the Royal Australian Air Force Ensign and the Australian White Ensign.

Note 2:       Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.