From an article in TheAge (source link): “A Melbourne flag-seller who flew the ISIL flag from his front yard in the outer suburbs says it’s about making a buck and not endorsing the terrorist group.
Rob Boot, who sells flags from his home in Carrum in the city’s south-east, raised the black-and-white flag of the bloodthirsty cell for all driving along the Nepean Highway to see on Wednesday morning.
The flag went up at 7am and within five minutes, he said, a man pulled-up and paid $40 for it. It was the second he had in stock after selling another one two weeks ago.
“They didn’t say why they wanted it, I think they were just surprised they saw it and they could have it for $40,” Mr Boot said.
At a Sydney mosque last week, a similar flag was auctioned off for $2000, sparking NSW Premier Mike Baird to indicate the flag could be banned.
Mr Boot said there was nothing wrong with flying and selling a flag used by the brutal terrorist group who exercise torture and murder in Iraq and Syria.
“I simply sell the flags, I couldn’t care less what people do with the flags once they buy it,” he said.
“It represents a horrid organisation, I agree … But my flags are not going to motivate someone to go out and commit an atrocity.”
Five years ago, Mr Boot began expanding his stock of flags from a rather genteel collection of Union Jacks and Stars and Stripes.
“I started to sell the contentious ones because there is a demand for it,” he said.
The 62-year-old flag nut bought the ISIL flags from a company in the United States that has sent him anything from Klu Klux Klan flags to Nazi flags, the latter of which he flew outside his home two years ago and attracted a barrage of backlash.
He’s had visits from local police and, he said, he has batted away ASIO agents who asked him to note down the registration plates of his customers’ cars.
All the attention he gets from his controversy is exactly what he wants. “I love it. It sells flags,” Mr Boot said.
“Australia is one of those wonderful countries where you can hang anything, say anything you want as long as you don’t harm anyone.”
What he is doing is not illegal. The law dictates that Victorians can possess, buy or sell any sort of flag as long as it isn’t used to incite racial hatred.
“Flying the [ISIL] flag in light of the recent beheadings is reprehensible and stupid but does not appear to be unlawful. We live in a democracy,” Liberty Victoria president and QC Jane Dixon said.
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