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Tie me kangaroo down, sport: Aussie Olympic athletes will not surrender boxing kangaroo flag

Feb 5, 2010, 10:30 PM EDT

(Note: For maximum enjoyment, following post should be read aloud in an Australian accent). I wasn’t sure that Australia had a Winter Olympics team until I saw this: A boxing kangaroo flag hanging proudly from the Vancouver athletes’ village. One problem, though: an IOC official has demanded that the flag be removed because it’s a registered trademark, and commercial logos are not allowed in the Olympic village. No!, say the heroic Aussies, who will defend their flag — with curling stones if necessary — if anyone tries to remove it. Just wait until PETA gets in on the debate. That’ll take your togs, your esky and a dog’s eye for a snack. (I have no idea what I just said).

AOC spokesman Mike Tancred said Friday the Australians have refused to take it down, but will oblige if they get a written request from the International Olympic Committee.

“If they want us to take it down, we’ll take it down,” he told The Associated Press.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said the committee is looking into the issue and hopes to have a decision “within the next few days.”

Tancred said the flag has been displayed at all recent Olympics as a mascot for the Australian team and had not been a problem until now. He said the flag has been hugely popular with athletes of all nationalities in the Vancouver village.

Although the flag is a registered trademark, Tancred said it is not being used for commercial purposes in Canada.

“There must be a misunderstanding,” he said. “We have no intention or capability of selling anything. We would never go to an Olympic Games and ambush somebody else’s sponsors.”

So yeah, they’re actually conducting meetings about this. I say that the boxing kangaroo flag fights it out with this flag, and the winner gets to fly in front of Russell Crowe’s house for the duration of the Winter Olympics.
Australians under pressure to take down ‘boxing kangaroo’ flag from village [Los Angeles Times]

  1. Dee Mirich and the Supremes - Feb 6, 2010 at 5:25 AM

    I notice a copious lack of snow in that photo. That can’t be good.

  2. Brian Whittaker - Feb 7, 2010 at 5:39 AM

    The Kangaroo’s name is Jack. He came to life in 1891 and has been growin ever since. His first claim to fame was on the Australian fighting planes in 1941 with the numer 21 squadron with the RAAF.
    Later he was used in the Americas Cup Challenge in 1983 with a successful win. Then in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. He is a national symbol that all Australians take with them to major sporting events. He stands for “the fight to win and the honour of the game”
    Funnily enough, even though he was taken down from the balcony of the Olympic villiage, communities around Canada have now flown the Aussie flag in support of the Aussies. As our flag is being questioned and possibly redesigned, Jack has taken prominence and is now our national symbol.