Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags to fly on National Sorry Day

By Anna Macdonald

May 24, 2022

the three australian flags
Like this. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags should be displayed alongside the Australian flag for National Sorry Day on Australian government buildings both domestically and abroad.

Guidelines from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet state the two flags should be displayed near the Australian flag from Thursday, May 26 to Friday, June 3.

If only one flagpole is available, the Australian National Flag takes precedence. If there are two flagpoles, displaying either the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander flag is acceptable, with discretion to be used by the respective authority for which one is more appropriate at the location. 

“Flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags on National Sorry Day and throughout National Reconciliation Week recognises the significance of these events for all Australians and is a sign of respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture,” the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said in an email to flag marshalls. 

National Sorry Day was established in 1998 after the Bringing Them Home report was tabled in parliament.

“We cannot begin to fix the problems of the present without accepting the truth of our history. Sorry Day asks us to acknowledge the Stolen Generations, and in doing so, reminds us that historical injustice is still an ongoing source of intergenerational trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Islander families, communities, and peoples,” Reconciliation Australia said on its website

Newly elected prime minister Anthony Albanese added the two flags, alongside the national flag, at his first press conference before departing to meet with the Quad in Japan. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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It was one of the first actions Albanese took as Australia’s 31st prime minister.

During his victory speech, Albanese flagged his commitment to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, adding an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. 


READ MORE:

Commonwealth flag officer issues note on protocol for Reconciliation Week

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