Diversity in full flight as Billy's flag fame spreads
EVERY Friday Woopi residents look to the sky to see what Billy Flicker has in store.
If it's anything too radical or a break in protocol he lets Federal Member Kevin Hogan know beforehand (Woolgoolga is in the Page electorate).
"It's a federally funded flag pole so I let him know - he's the one who's going to cop the flak,” Billy laughed.
For almost three years he's been flying a weird and wonderful array of flags on the town's flag pole in the main street.
One choice he thought worthy of a warning to the MP was three pirate flags for the week of International Talk Like a Pirate Day in September.
Mostly he flies the Australian and Indigenous flag along with a third to surprise and, in the majority of cases, delight passers by.
One of the few flags he did receive a complaint about was one he made himself for the week of R U OK Day, as it was seen as a breach of protocol being hand made.
He does it to spread joy and understanding in a town he loves.
Three years ago the van he was living in was torched and the community rallied to raise funds for a replacement.
"It's my way of putting something small back into Woopi - it's a very community minded and loving place. I just love it up here, it's so friendly.”
He gets all kinds of requests and is currently on the look out for a Papua New Guinea flag.
"It's a community pole, it's a learning thing and to represent all groups. If people want it I'll fly it.”
He has flown the rainbow flag, widely recognised as a symbol of LGBT pride and identity and associated with the recent push for marriage equality.
He's even flown the relatively unknown asexual flag with four horizontal stripes: black, grey, white, and purple from top to bottom.
The only request he denied was the Australian flag with the blue background replaced by the rainbow colours as he deemed it to be disrespectful.
In addition to his flag duties he is well known around town collecting rubbish and supporting various community events.
The recyclable rubbish he collects goes into the reverse vending machines to purchase the flags.
Asked what's in store for his flag followers, he had this hot tip for the month of May.
"It will be a contest with two flags and people have to guess why they are there,” he chuckled.