Australia Faces Pressure to Remove Kangaroo Flag

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Australian Olympic officials say they will remove a giant "boxing kangaroo" flag from the Vancouver athletes' village if they receive an official request from the International Olympic Committee.

The green and gold flag, which depicts a red-gloved cartoon kangaroo, has been hanging from a balcony from the Australian team's living area in the village since last Sunday.

The Australian Olympic Committee said an IOC official asked that the flag be removed because it is a registered trademark.

The boxing kangaroo flag was originally flown from the Australian yacht which won the America's Cup in 1983. It is now a registered trademark and used by the AOC to promote sport and fair play in schools in Australia.

AOC spokesman Mike Tancred said Friday the Australians have refused to take it down. However, they will oblige if they receive a written request from the International Olympic Committee.

"If they want us to take it down, we'll take it down," Tancred told The Associated Press.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said the committee is looking into the issue and hopes to have a decision "within the next few days."

Tancred said the flag has been displayed at all recent Olympics as a mascot for the Australian team. He said the flag has been hugely popular with athletes of all nationalities in the Vancouver village.

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