Flags

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Purpose of this policy

To ensure schools fly flags appropriately.

Policy

Schools must fly the Australian National Flag on:

  • days when patriotic ceremonies are conducted
  • national flag days, if the school is open.

Important: Except as stated below or on other special occasions advised by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, flags are only to be flown during normal working hours.

Note: schools are encouraged to fly the Australian National Flag during school hours, and the Premier has issued instructions that the Australian National Flag and the State Flag should be flown on government and semi-government buildings whenever possible.

Flag types

This table provides information about different types of flags that may be flown at schools.

FlagDescription

Australian National Flag

Schools should:

  • be formally presented with the flag at the school opening, by the Commonwealth Government
  • request a replacement flag from:
    - the Federal Member of Parliament for their electoral division, or
    - a state Senator
  • generally expect a flag to last for 7 years.

Other National Flags

The Aboriginal Flag

The symbolic meaning of the flag colours (as stated by Mr Harold Thomas) are:

  • Black: Represents the Aboriginal people of Australia
  • Red: Represents the red earth, the red ochre and a spiritual relation to the land
  • Yellow: Represents the Sun, the giver of life and protector.

The Torres Strait Islander flag.

The Torres Strait Islander Flag was created as a symbol of unity and identity for Torres Strait Islander peoples, designed by the late Bernard Namok from Thursday Island.

The flag was recognised by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in June 1992 and given equal prominence with the Aboriginal flag.

In July 1995, it was recognised by the Australian Government as an official 'Flag of Australia' under the Flags Act 1953.

For more information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander flags see: The Torres Strait Islands flag within Other resources below.

Australian national flag

This table provides further details on how to fly the Australian National Flag.

ElementDescription

Hours

Schools should:

  • raise the Australian National Flag at the beginning of each school day
  • fly the flag between 8:00am and the close of business, other than special occasions
  • only fly the flag at night:
    - on special occasions advised by the Department of Premier and Cabinet
    - with illumination.

Etiquette

Schools should:

  • give precedence to the Australian National Flag over all other national and state flags
  • fly the Australian National Flag on the flagpole to the left of any other flags when a person is facing the building
  • not fly 2 flags on one pole.

Note: For more information on flag etiquette protocols see: It's an Honour within Other resources below.

National Flag Days

As outlined above, schools must fly the flag on the following national flag days, if they are open:

  • 1 January to commemorate the anniversary of the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia
  • 26 January for Australia Day
  • the second Monday in March for Labour Day
  • 25 April for Anzac Day, with flags flown at:
    - half-mast until noon
    - the masthead until the close of business
  • the second Monday in June to observe the anniversary of the birth of the Sovereign
  • 3 September for National Flag Day to:
    - commemorate the first official flying of Australian flags at the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne on 3 September 1901
    - provide an opportunity for students to reflect on the current flag, its history and future
    See: National Flag Day Facts within Other resources below.
  • 11 November for Remembrance Day with flags flown at:
    - the masthead from 8.00 am to 10.30 am
    - half-mast from 10.30 am to 11.02 am
    - the masthead from 11.02 am to the close of business.

Other national flags

This table provides further details on how to fly the Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag.

ElementDescription
Other National Flag Days

Schools should fly other National flags on additional flag poles on the following days, if they are open:

  • 21 March for Harmony Day to celebrate Australia's success as a diverse society united as one family by a common set of values
  • 27 May to 3 June for National Reconciliation Week to recognise:
    - 27 May as the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum which successfully removed clauses from the Constitution that discriminated against indigenous Australians
    - 3 June as Eddie Mabo Day, the anniversary of the High Court decision in the Eddie Mabo land rights case of 1992 recognised by Torres Strait Islanders
  • a nominated week in July for NAIDOC Week (National Aboriginal & Islanders’ Day Observance Committee) to celebrate and promote greater understanding of Indigenous peoples and culture
  • 1 July for the “Coming of the Light” celebration day for Torres Strait Islanders.
PermissionPermission is not required to fly the Australian Aboriginal Flag or the Torres Strait Islander Flag.

Flying multiple flags

Information on the protocols for flying multiple flags is available in the flag section of It’s an Honour see:  Other resources below.

Related policies

Related legislation

  • Education and Training Reform Act 2006
  • Flags Act 1953

Department resource

Other resources

Enquiries on the flying of flags should be directed to the Chief of Protocol of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. 

For more information: