‘Disgraceful’ Flag Burning Angers Greek-Australian Community

Image from Greek Community of Sydney Facebook page

Less than a week after anti-Greek banners were hung from highway overpasses in Melbourne, piles of Greek flags were burned during a protest in Melbourne over the ‘Macedonia’ name dispute.

The Greek Community of Sydney Facebook page posted an image showing crowds of pro-Skopje protesters setting fire to the Greek emblem.

Posters variously described it as “sad”, “disrespectful” and “disgraceful”.

The incident took place on Sunday when FYROM-Australians took to the streets of Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne, protesting against any name change for the former Yugoslav republic.

Images of FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev were also burned.

It follows incidents last week where anti-Greek banners were hung in Melbourne after rallies by Greek-Australians against the use of ‘Macedonia’ by the government in Skopje.

Flag burning is not illegal in Australia. However, a 2003 case saw an individual in Queensland prosecuted for disorderly conduct after setting fire to a flag causing “concern, fright and anger” among the public after “lighting of a large piece of synthetic material to which petrol had been added in close proximity to larger numbers of people including young children”.