Torres Strait Islander Flag

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2:3 Normal or de jure version of flag, or obverse side Torres Strait Islander Flag

The Torres Strait Islander Flag is an official Flag of Australia, and is the flag that represents Torres Strait Islander people. It was designed in 1992 by Bernard Namok. It won a local competition held by the Islands Coordinating Council, and was recognised by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in June 1992.

Status[edit]

The Government of Australia granted it Flag of Australia status, under the Flags Act 1953 (Cth), by proclamation on 14 July 1995.[1]

Due to an "administrative oversight", the 1995 proclamation was not lodged so that it would continue in force indefinitely; hence it automatically expired on 1 January 2008. It was therefore almost identically replaced, on 25 January 2008, with effect as from 1 January.[2]

In the 2008 proclamation, the flag "is recognised as the flag of the Torres Strait Islander people of Australia and a flag of significance to the Australian nation generally" and appointed "to be the flag of the Torres Strait Islander people of Australia and to be known as the Torres Strait Islander Flag". The design is reproduced in Schedule 1 and described in Schedule 2.

Although Namok has since died, the Torres Strait Islander Flag is still subject to copyright under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The Island Coordinating Council manages the copyright of the flag and is willing to permit reproductions of it that are accurate and acknowledge the authorship of Namok.[3]

Symbolic meaning[edit]

The green panels at the top and the bottom of the flag symbolise the land, while the blue panel in the centre represents the waters of the Torres Strait. The thin black stripes between the green and blue panels signify the Torres Strait Islanders themselves. The white five-pointed star at the centre of the flag represents the five major island groups, and the white dhari (dancer's headdress) around it also symbolises the Torres Strait Islands people. White symbolises peace, while the star is a symbol for navigation.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, Special, No. S 258, 14 July 1995. This was a special issue of the Gazette, printed in colour on high quality paper. It may be found at the back of Government Notices issue No. GN 28, 19 July 1995, together with the proclamation (No. S 259) of the Australian Aboriginal Flag.
  2. ^ "Flags Act 1953—Proclamation (Australian Aboriginal Flag)". ComLaw. Retrieved 31 May 2014.  The only significant change from 1995 is that "Torres Strait Islander flag" is altered to "Torres Strait Islander Flag".
  3. ^ See NAIDOC external link.
  4. ^ It's an Honour - Torres Strait Islander Flag; also Schedule 2 to each of the proclamations.

External links[edit]