By Duncan Mackay in Vancouver

February 7 - The Australian team will be able to fly a giant flag of a boxing kangaroo from its balconies in the Olympic Village here, after striking a deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates said the Aussies will have to register the image with the IOC as an official mark for their team.

Coates, who is also a member of the IOC's ruling Executive Board, said: "We will need to register the boxing kangaroo with the IOC as the third identification we have.

"We already have the coat of arms and the rings, which the athletes wear on their uniforms.

"We also have as a marketing identification the Australian flag and the rings.

"We'll need just to work out how we register or deal with the boxing kangaroo."

Last week, during an inspection of the Village, a representative of the IOC asked the team to take down the 50-square-metre flag, which is emblazoned with a kangaroo wearing boxing gloves, because of trademark issues.

The Australians protested, saying the flag is associated with their country's sporting success.

The boxing kangaroo image first came to prominence when it flew from the winning Australian sailboat in the 1983 America's Cup yachting competition.

The AOC now owns the image's trademark and uses the figure as a team mascot at both the Winter and Summer Games.

The Australian athletes are happy about the outcome, said Coates.

He said: "The boxing kangaroo means a lot to our athletes.

"It features on their suitcase, on their backpack and their computer carrying bag, and they certainly associate well with it."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]