|HOME | SPORTS | OLYMPICS | NEWS|
|August 21, 2000||
Aboriginal flag to fly at Olympic venues
The Sydney Games Organising Committee (SOCOG) said on Monday the Aboriginal flag will be welcomed at official venues, though there will be size limits.
SOCOG spokesman Milton Cockburn told Reuters a report in The Sunday Age newspaper that SOCOG had banned spectators from taking the Aboriginal flag into venues was wrong.
Under a long-standing rule, flags from non-participating countries may not be flown at the Games. But the Aboriginal flag, which is highly symbolical, would not be considered in this light.
"The IOC has made it clear that they are relaxed about the Aboriginal flag and they understand its significance in Australia," Cockburn said.
He said the flag would not be regarded as a prohibited item for spectators, but it would be up to individual teams to decide whether athletes carried it.
Australia's highest-profile track and field athlete, 400-metre runner Cathy Freeman, draped herself in the Aboriginal and Australian flags during her victory lap after winning the 400m at the 1994 Commonwealth Games.
The Aboriginal flag -- red, yellow and black representing the earth, sun and Aboriginal people -- will also be flown at several Olympic sites.
The size of any flags taken into the Games venues will be limited to one by two metres (about three by six feet) .
"The only reason for that is we can't have a situation where someone's unfurling a huge flag and other spectators can't see," Cockburn said.
Olympics authorities have warned that an Aboriginal Arts centre immediately outside the main stadium should not be used as a focus for protests to highlight the plight of Aborigines, but widespread protests elsewhere are likely.
Mail Sports Editor
TRAVEL | NEWSLINKS
ROMANCE | WEDDING | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | FREE MESSENGER | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK