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Coles supermarket puts up dodgy flags for Australia Day

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Dodgy Australian flags hanging from the ceiling of a Brisbane Coles store to celebrate Australia Day were bought from another retailer, the supermarket giant says.

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Coles' Australian flag blunder

Check out the Australian flag Coles had hanging from their supermarket ceiling.

In a statement issued on Monday, Coles said the banners, which included a reversed Southern Cross and an upside down Union Jack, were removed from the Toowong store as soon as the error was pointed out.

A Coles spokesman said all of the company's Australia Day merchandise on sale in stores, including flags, was correctly designed.

"The incorrect flags which were displayed at a single store were purchased by a team member from a local retailer," he said.



Coles Toowong's patriotic celebration of Australia Day features a line of Australian flags hanging from the supermarket's ceiling, but all the flags have the Southern Cross printed the wrong way.

The iconic constellation of stars, the Southern Cross, features five stars - Alpha, Beta (also known as Mimosa), Delta, Gamma and Epsilon Crucis - that are 10 to 20 million years old.

And while the closest is 88 light-years from Earth and the furthest 364 light-years away, the little star (Epsilom Crucis) always appears on the right side - not the left - under Delta.

The diagonal stripes of the Union Jack have also been reversed on the flag. 

On Saturday, a supervisor at the Toowong supermarket said he did not realise the flag design was wrong and did not know how long the flags had been flying.

National Flag Association president Allan Pidgeon commended Coles for flying the flag on Australia Day but recommended that they get it right for ANZAC Day.

"It's great that Coles is showing pride in Australia but I encourage them to make every effort to replace the ones that aren't accurate," Mr Pidgeon said.

"It's a national symbol that must be respectfully treated.

Mr Pidgeon suspected that the flags were manufactured overseas, however the association experienced a similar problem a few years ago when it ordered flags from an Australian supplier that were delivered with the Union Jack reversed.

"It was quite awkward because we wanted to support Australian manufacturers," he said. "It would be very poor form for Coles to fly these flags on ANZAC Day, which is a more solemn day."

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