Two flags represent the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Aboriginal flag, designed by artist Harold Thomas in 1971, is divided into three colours.

Black represents the Aboriginal people;

the yellow circle symbolises the sun;

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

The Torres Strait Islander flag, designed by the late Mr Bernard Namok and adopted in 1992, has three horizontal panels, with green at the top and bottom (for land), and blue (for sea) in between. These panels are divided by thin black lines representing the Torres Strait Islander peoples. A white dhari (traditional headdress of the Torres Strait) sits in the centre. The five-pointed white star beneath symbolises peace, the five island groups within the Torres Strait and the traditional role that the stars play for seafaring people.

History of the Aboriginal Flag

Learn more about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flag from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies