Author Topic: RAM "postpones" release of Indigenous Flag 2 dollar coin  (Read 95 times)

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Offline eurocoin

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RAM "postpones" release of Indigenous Flag 2 dollar coin
« on: March 26, 2021, 10:56:08 PM »

The Royal Australian Mint has postponed the release of the Indigenous Flag 2 dollar coin into general circulation. Earlier the mint already released the coin in mint sets. A RAM spokesperson mentioned that the decision to postpone the release is based on the media and the public reaction to the use and meaning of the Indigenous Flag. The intent behind the release of the coin is to encourage Australians to celebrate and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Indigenous Flag, a cherished symbol of contemporary Australian Aboriginal identity, unity and pride. Releasing the coin in the current environment would, according to the spokesperson, not achieve the desired intent or, worse still, have the potential to be divisive.

The decision comes at a time in which there is uncertainty about who owns the copyright on the Aboriginal flag. Policy makers have grappled with how to resolve a dispute over ownership of the copyright for the Aboriginal flag. Indigenous businesses have reported being sued for copyright infringement, after  the designer of the flag licensed the IP rights on it for the use on clothes exclusively to WAM Clothing. An Australian Senate committee established to investigate the issue has urged the government to reject calls to seize the copyright for the flag, arguing it would set a “dangerous precedent”. The Senate’s select committee instead advised the government to pursue a “negotiated solution” with WAM, and the flag’s designer Harold Thomas. But the opposition Labor Party has insisted that the government’s right to seize the IP must be kept on the table if a resolution cannot be found. Designer Thomas also sold exclusive licenses for the use of the flag on other products to several other companies, amongst which to the Royal Australian Mint for the use on coins.

An Indigenous organisation late last year questioned how the Royal Australian Mint could issue coins featuring the Aboriginal flag. Laura Thompson, co-founder of Clothing The Gap, helped start the #PrideNotProfit petition and Free The Flag campaign. “Should anybody be making money off flags?” Thompson said. “Aren’t flags meant to be about pride and not profit? Whereas the Aboriginal flag in Australia is certainly as much about profit as it is about pride, and I think people are sick and tired of it, and they want to be able to use their flag without worrying about how much it’s going to cost.” Thompson said while RAM’s new release was historic, Aboriginal people couldn’t celebrate it as they feel like the flag is no longer theirs. “The Aboriginal community, and I think all Australians have our backs on this issue, don’t want to celebrate the Aboriginal flag right now in its current state. We certainly aren’t excited about a collection of coins, and we just don’t think that it was the right thing to do given the current situation of the flag.” Thompson said if the flag’s situation is not resolved by its 50th anniversary this year, many in the Aboriginal community would seriously consider adopting a new flag design that could be used freely.

It seems unlikely to me that the coins will still ever be released into circulation. From photos I have seen taken in the production area of RAM it appears that the coin already went into mass production for circulation quite some time ago, so this could become a costly thing for RAM.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2021, 05:01:02 PM by eurocoin »

Offline Mister T

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Re: RAM "postpones" release of Indigenous Flag 2 dollar coin
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2021, 09:40:27 AM »
Interesting - I hadn't seen this and just thought I hadn't got one in change because it's early in the year, and because coloured $2 coins get snapped up pretty quickly.