Olympics: Aussies come out fighting over 'Boxing Kangaroo'

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Australia Friday defied "ridiculous" orders to tear down a large Boxing Kangaroo flag at the Winter Olympics athletes village in Vancouver over trademark rules.

Australian Olympic Committee spokesman Mike Tancred said the iconic flag was still flying from the team's windows despite verbal instructions to remove it because it is a registered trademark.

"The flag is still up, we haven't moved it," Tancred told AFP by phone from the Canadian city. "They told us to take it down and we haven't."

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) told Australia to remove the flag on Monday because it is a registered trademark, which violates Games rules.

Tancred said the image, which has been displayed at previous Games, was the team's mascot and was also used to promote Olympic ideals to school children.

"We would hope the IOC would support us," he said. "The Boxing Kangaroo is a symbol of the team but it's also used in the education of young kids about the Olympics."

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard slammed the IOC's order as "ridiculous" and called for more flags bearing the famous symbol of a kangaroo wearing boxing gloves.

"It's a scandal," Gillard told the Nine Network TV station. "I think we want to see a lot of the Boxing Kangaroo, particularly now that we've had this ridiculous ruling. So, yes, boxing kangaroos everywhere."

The Boxing Kangaroo symbol came to prominence during the country's 1983 America's Cup yachting victory. The Australian Olympic Committee later bought the image from businessman Alan Bond, owner of winning yacht "Australia II".