A Tasmanian Aborigine has reignited the national debate about flag burning, after an Australia Day protest in Launceston yesterday.
About 100 Aborigines from across Tasmania rallied in Launceston's City Park against what they call "Invasion Day".
After the speeches, Adam Thompson stepped from the crowd and burnt the Australian flag with a cigarette lighter, to cheers from the crowd.
The Australian National Flag Association's Reg Watson has branded the act "despicable", calling on the Federal Government to make it illegal.
"Until it is an offence this type of vandalism will continually happen," he said.
"Those people that burnt our sacred symbol, national symbol, should be prosecuted for that offence.
"It's an outrageous offence and I think it would in anyone's estimation, an act of disgust, and I'm absolutely appalled that they've taken that position."
Mr Thompson says he would not have been deterred by the threat of prosecution.
"I would have done it anyway because it signifies something, and that's for a bigger cause," he said.
"Australians know what it means to Aboriginal people for them to celebrate Invasion Day and they do it anyway, so there's a blatant disregard there for Aboriginal people. And that made us angry enough to do that.
"What else can happen to Aboriginal people? I mean, you've taken our land. What else can you do to us?"
Mr Thompson works for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre as a land management co-ordinator. The Centre has backed his impromptu flag burning.