The Aboriginal Flag

Designed by Harold Thomas in 1971, the Aboriginal flag has become a symbol of unity and strength. The three colours represent the colours of a proud people.


This represents the red earth, and the red ochre used in ceremonies. The red illustrates Aboriginal peoples’ spiritual relation to the land.


Represents the Aboriginal people of Australia.

Yellow circle

Represents the Sun, the giver of life and protector.

It was first flown at Victoria Square in Adelaide on National Aborigines Day, 12 July 1971. The following year it became the official flag for the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra after it was first flown there in 1972. As time has passed, it has become a widely recognised symbol of the unity of Aboriginal people.

Since the 1970s, the Aboriginal flag has been shown with pride at political rallies, sporting events, and when celebrations are held across the country. It is often a permanent fixture outside important buildings across Australia to recognise and pay respect to the First Australians.

The Commonwealth took steps in 1994 to give the flag legal recognition. Following public consultation on the matter, the Aboriginal flag was proclaimed a ‘Flag of Australia’ in July 1995 under the Flags Act 1953.

Although you don't need permission to fly the Aboriginal flag, you must get permission to reproduce it for commercial purposes and sell it.

Watch this video where Living Black looks at the Aboriginal Flag

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