This hastily taken photo shows how the Police in Five Dock are treating the state flag. There is a tree opposite the entrance to the station, and it has needed trimming for over 12 months. As the tree is on council land, the council has to do the trimming - but the council won't do anything unless someone points out that this tree is a problem, and needs cutting back.
The flag regularly gets tangled in the tree like this, and sometimes it doesn't get hauled down for days. I've put in a request to council (twice) to have the tree trimmed back enough to allow the flag to fly freely. However, it's a crying shame that the Police of all people seem to have no idea how to treat our flag.
I might have to send away for a booklet on flag etiquette on behalf of our local Police.
Flying the flag
- The flag should be raised briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
- The flag should be raised no earlier than first light and lowered no later than dusk.
- When the flag is raised or lowered, or when it is carried in a parade or review, everyone present should be silent and face the flag. People in uniform should salute.
- The flag should always be flown freely and as close as possible to the top of the flagpole with the rope tightly secured.
- Unless all flags are raised and lowered simultaneously, the Australian National Flag should be raised first and lowered last.
- When the Australian National Flag is flown with flags of other nations, all flags should be the same size and flown on flagpoles of the same height
- When flying with only one other national flag, the Australian National Flag should fly on the left of a person facing the flags.
- Two flags should not be flown from the same flagpole.
- The flag may be flown at night only when it is illuminated.
- The flag should never be flown if it is damaged, faded or dilapidated. When the material of a flag deteriorates it should be destroyed privately and in a dignified way. i.e it may be cut into small unrecognisable pieces then disposed of with the normal rubbish collection.
- The flag should not be flown upside down, even as a signal of distress.
- The flag should not fall or lie on the ground or be used as a cover (although it can be used to cover a coffin at a funeral).
- Information on the protocols for displaying and folding the flag can be found in Part 2 of the booklet Australian flags (PDF 928KB) , which is available from your Federal Member of Parliament or Senator.
After reading that last line, I've contacted the office of our Federal Member, John Murphy MP, and asked them to send the Police Station a copy of the flag booklet.