Neighbours demand elderly couple take down the Australian flag they have being flying outside their house for 20 years because it’s an ‘eyesore’ – but they’d rather go to JAIL
- Sunshine Coast couple told to remove Australian flag from their backyard
- Their property’s body corporate claim they are in breach of bylaws by flying flag
- But couple are refusing to take down flag they have flown for more than 20 years
An elderly couple have said they would rather go to jail than take down the Australian flag flying in their yard amid a bitter feud with neighbours who want it removed after complaining it is an ‘eyesore’.
Julie and Vaughan McLeod have had the national flag on display in the backyard of their home on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast for more than two decades.
‘Nobody’s coming in here to take it down,’ Ms McLeod told A Current Affair.
‘At my age I don’t care. They’re not gonna run my life while I’m still left on this earth. If I want the flag I’m going to have it.’
The McLeod’s claim they received permission to fly the flag when they moved into their unit complex in 1997 but the body corporate has now said no approval was granted and the couple have been unable to provide written evidence it existed.
Sunshine Coast couple Julie and Vaughan McLeod (pictured together) have been told they not allowed to fly an Australian flag in the backyard of their home
The couple have been told they must remove the flag after receiving 20 notices telling them they are in breach of body corporate bylaws – but they are refusing to take it down without a fight.
‘I’ll just go to jail, cause I’m not gonna be paying a fine and I’m not gonna take the flag down,’ Ms McLeod said.
‘It’s staying there. People have come and gone and died for that flag. It’s not coming down.’
Ms McLeod’s daily ritual includes hoisting the flag every morning and taking it down of an evening but the three other neighbours in the complex want it gone.
‘Eyesore, I couldn’t get over that word. It’s an eyesore, that’s what they put it on the form. How could you call that an eyesore?’ Ms McLeod said.
‘They keep sending (the notices) and I keep writing back and saying, well I’m afraid we’ve got permission.’
The body corporate at the couple’s unit complex have said the couple are in breach of body corporate bylaws by flying the flag
The couple’s home, which they moved into in 1997, is adorned with Australian flags, which Ms McLeod saying ‘people have come and gone and died for that flag’
Mr McLeod, who served in the airforce, said the couple were more than happy to provide an affidavit detailing how they received permission to fly the flag.
‘I consider it a right to be able to show our flag. It’s a symbol of our country and our culture,’ he said.
‘We are quite willing to do an affidavit, swear on the bible, that we have had permission. The fact the paperwork has been lost is not down to us at all.’
The couple have been locked in several bitter disputes with neighbours, including allegations Ms McLeod assaulted a neighbour. The case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence.
There have also been disagreements over garbage bins and cars in the driveway.
The flag debate has been sent to an adjudicator, who is expected to make a decision in the next six weeks.
Ms McLeod said depending on the outcome, she may consider court action.