The Torres Strait Islander flag is a symbol of unity and identity for the Torres Strait Islander people. It illustrates the deep connections they have with the sea, islands and sky of the Torres Strait.
The flag has two green horizontal bands, and one blue band. These are separated by black lines. In the middle of the flag is a Dhari (a ceremonial headdress), and a five-pointed star.
Each feature of the flag is significant to Torres Strait Islander culture.
The two green sections represent the mainlands of Papua New Guinea and Australia.
The black lines represent the people of the Torres Strait.
The blue between these two continents is the blue of the waters surrounding the Torres Strait Islands.
This is a Dhari, or headdress. Dhari is the Meriam (Mer) word for 'headdress' and is predominantly used in the eastern islands. In the central and western islands, the headdress is called a Dhoeri. The headdress is worn and made by males, and their designs will change from island to island. The white colour symbolises peace.
The five-pointed star represents the five major island groups of the Torres Strait and their ties to navigation by sea.
The flag was chosen from over 100 entries in a design competition, organised in January 1992 by The Islands Coordinating Council. The flag was designed by the late Bernard Namok from Thursday Island.
It wasn't until July 1995 that the Torres Strait Islander flag was recognised by the Australian Government as an official 'Flag of Australia' through the Flags Act 1953.
Although you don't need permission to fly the Torres Strait Islander flag, you must get permission to reproduce it for commercial purposes.