In light of NAIDOC Week, we take a look at the meaning behind these flags.
The Australian Aboriginal Flag was designed by artist Harold Thomas and first flown at Victoria Square in Adelaide, South Australia, on National Aborigines Day in July 1971.
It became the official flag for the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra after it was first flown there in 1972. Since then, it has become a widely recognised symbol of the unity and identity of Aboriginal people.
After a period of public consultation, in July 1995, the Aboriginal flag was proclaimed a 'Flag of Australia' under the Flags Act 1953.
The Aboriginal flag is divided horizontally into halves. The top half is black, and the lower half is red. There is a yellow circle in the centre of the flag.
The meanings of the three colours in the flag, as stated by Harold Thomas, are:
The Aboriginal flag should be flown or displayed with black at the top and red at the bottom. It is protected under copyright and may be reproduced only in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 or with the permission of Harold Thomas. Permission is not needed to fly the Australian Aboriginal Flag.
The late Bernard Namok designed the Torres Strait Islander flag as a symbol of unity and identity for Torres Strait Islanders.
Adopted in 1992, it was the winning entry in a design competition run by the Island Coordinating Council and given equal prominence with the Australian Aboriginal Flag.
In July 1995, the Australian Government recognised it, with the Australian Aboriginal Flag, as an official 'Flag of Australia' under the Flags Act 1953.
The Torres Strait Islander flag has three horizontal panels, with green at the top and bottom and blue in between.
These panels are divided by thin black lines. A white Dhari (traditional headdress) sits in the centre, with a five-pointed white star beneath it.
The meanings of the colours in the flag are:
Permission is not needed to fly the Torres Strait Islander Flag.
Courtesy of the National NAIDOC Committee.
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