Story: Flags

Paul Hopkinson burning the New Zealand flag, 2004

Paul Hopkinson burning the New Zealand flag, 2004

In 2003 Paul Hopkinson burned the New Zealand and Australian flags at Parliament during the visit of Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Hopkinson was protesting about both countries' participation in the war in Afghanistan. He was prosecuted under the Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981 and convicted of dishonouring the flag, but his conviction was overturned on appeal. To date, Hopkinson is the only person to have been prosecuted under this act. Here, he is burning the flag again after his conviction was overturned.

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Flags - Flag law and protocol', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 June 2024)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 20 Apr 2016