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Brisbane's Radical Russian Community, 1911–1918

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 February 2016

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Spread your wings my angel of hope and show me the way to the country, where we lived before, to the nation, where blood is being shed for freedom's sake. Only then, we will begin to live in the people's country.

On 23 and 24 March 1919, a period of civil unrest in Brisbane was sparked by the flying of the international workers' flag. These events are now referred to as the Red Flag March and Riots. The red flag – the flag of the trade unions – had become tinged with radicalism due to its association with the Russian Revolution. On 19 September, the government reacted to the use of the red flag by extending the May 1918 War Precautions Regulation 278, which prohibited the display of the Sinn Fein colours. This change prohibited the display of the red flag on the grounds that it was the flag of an enemy country. The Russians who were arrested for flying red flags at the Red Flag march were arrested under Regulation 27BB.

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Research Article
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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 

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