Flags of darkness

Gillian Crosby can’t believe two Australian flags in Berwick are left in darkness at night. 41801Picture: Stewart Chambers

AUSTRALIAN flags flying high in Berwick are doing so in darkness, much to the disappointment of Berwick resident Gillian Crosby and against Australian protocol.
Ms Crosby contacted the Gazette when she noticed that Australian flags both at the High Street memorial and Pioneers Park were left in darkness at night.
“Both of these flags are left up at night-time and not lit, leaving the flag in darkness which is not allowed,” she said.
“You wouldn’t see such blatant disregard for the national flag in any other country.”
Ms Crosby, who has just returned from a trip to the United States, said she was amazed at the patriotism of Americans.
“They have flags outside their homes, every house,” she said.
“And we can’t even get two flags in one town right.
“It is really disheartening to see our flag in darkness.”
Unsure whose responsibility upholding national flag protocol was, Ms Crosby wrote to the Berwick RSL sharing her concerns.
RSL Treasurer Bob Waugh replied stating that the revamp of the High Street memorial site was the reason the flag was no longer illuminated.
“The movement of the light used to illuminate the old flagpole was discussed with Casey Council staff who undertook to move it to a new location,” he said.
“Unfortunately the staff member concerned left soon after and we have been continuing to have the problem rectified.”
In his letter, Mr Waugh also said the RSL was having problems concerning the size of the flag.
“We are aware of the protocols concerning the flying of national and service flags,” he said.
“If we cannot have the problems attended to in the near future, we will stop flying the flags all together.”
Ms Crosby said she was surprised by the “attitude of just giving up and removing the flag” and says that is the last thing she wants.
“Surely the City of Casey can fix the problem, they can’t ignore things like that,” she said.
“They can give out fines to small businesses that disobey footpath trading laws, but can’t fix something as important as this.”
City of Casey’s acting manager of Parks and Reserves, Debbie Wood said that both the High Street flagpole and the Pioneers Park flagpole were supplied by council and donated to the Berwick Chamber of Commerce and Berwick RSL respectively under an agreement that they would maintain them.
“The design of the High Street pole allows for three flags of specific size to be flown at any one time; however a larger flag would breach the design specifications of the pole,” Ms Wood said.
She said council officers deemed that the street lighting for High Street was adequate to illuminate the flag and a light on the rotunda at Pioneers Park should illuminate the flag.
“The council is arranging for an electrician to investigate whether the light is currently working as we have received no reports that it’s not,” Ms Wood said.