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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags

Australian Aboriginal flag

The Australian Aboriginal flag

The Australian Aboriginal Flag was first raised on 12 July 1971 at Victoria Square in Adelaide. It was also used at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972.

The top half of the flag is black to symbolise indigenous people. The red in the lower half stands for the earth and the colour of ochre, which has ceremonial significance. The circle of yellow in the centre of the flag represents the sun.

The Australian Aboriginal Flag is displayed at Aboriginal centres and is well recognised as the flag of Aboriginal peoples of Australia. It is flown during NAIDOC Week to celebrate and promote greater understanding of indigenous peoples and culture and during National Reconciliation Week in recognition of 27 May as the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum which removed from the Constitution clauses that discriminated against indigenous Australians and 3 June as the anniversary of the High Court decision in the Eddie Mabo land rights case of 1992.

Colour references for the Australian Aboriginal Flag are:

  • Red PANTONE® 179
  • Yellow PANTONE® 123

Mr Harold Thomas from Northern Australia designed the flag.

The Australian Aboriginal Flag was proclaimed on 14 July 1995.

Permission is not required to fly the Australian Aboriginal Flag.

The Australian Aboriginal Flag is protected by copyright and may only be reproduced in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 or with the permission of Mr Harold Thomas. Contact details are:

Mr Harold Thomas
PO Box 41807
CASUARINA NT 0810

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Torres Strait Islander flag

The Torres Straight Islander flag

The Torres Strait Islander Flag was adopted in May 1992 during the Torres Strait Islands Cultural Festival.

The green panels at the top and bottom of the flag represent the land and the central blue panel represents the sea. The black lines dividing the panels represent the Torres Strait Islander people.

The centre of the flag shows a white dhari (dancer’s headdress) and is a symbol for all Torres Strait Islanders.

Underneath the dhari is a white five-pointed star. The star is an important symbol for navigating the sea. The points of the star represent the island groups in the Torres Strait and white symbolises peace.

Colour references for the Torres Strait Islander Flag are:

  • Blue PANTONE® 301 
  • Green PANTONE® 3288

The Torres Strait Islander Flag is flown during NAIDOC Week and Reconciliation Week.

The design of the Torres Strait Islander Flag was the winning entry in a competition organised by the Island Coordinating Council.

The Torres Strait Islander Flag was proclaimed on 14 July 1995.

Permission is not required to fly the Torres Strait Islander Flag.

The Island Coordinating Council holds copyright in the Torres Strait Islander Flag. Requests for permission to reproduce the Torres Strait Islander Flag should be addressed to:

Secretary - Island Coordinating Council
PO Box 501
Thursday Island QLD 4875
Telephone: 07 4069 1446
Fax: 07 4069 1868

Further information:

Office of Aboriginal Affairs

Phone: 03 6232 7082
Email: oaa@dpac.tas.gov.au