On this date in 1971 the Aboriginal Flag was first raised on Kaurna Country at Victoria Square in the Adelaide CBD.
The flag was designed and copyrighted by Luritja man Harold Thomas. Soon after it was flown in Adelaide, the flag was brought to the East Coast of Australia by Gumbainggir man Gary Foley. There it was used as the official flag of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy outside the old Parliament House in Canberra in 1972.
The top half of the flag is black to symbolising Aboriginal people. The lower half is red to symbolise the earth and ochre. The circle of yellow in the centre of the flag represents the sun.
It wasn’t until 1995 however that the Australian Government proclaimed the Aboriginal flag as an official ‘Flag of Australia’ under section 5 of the Flags Act (1953).
Permission is not required to fly the Aboriginal flag, however using the image of the flag may be subject to copyright (see https://www.pmc.gov.au/government/australian-national-symbols/australian-flags for more information).
While many places fly the flag all year round, the Aboriginal flag is given special prominence during dates that are important to Aboriginal people including NAIDOC Week (normally first week in July) and National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June).
The flag is a symbol of pride and identity for Aboriginal people across the nation and has been used to highlight First Nations issues both locally and internationally.
Where have you seen the flag flown that made you feel most proud?
Photo courtesy of Daniel Boud and permission granted from Jannawi Dance Clan.