Flag Announcements

If you join the Commonwealth Flag Network you will be notified of half-masting messages and other nationally significant events. To subscribe to the Network simply fill out an online Flag Network subscription form.

Anzac Day 2016

To: All Flag Marshals – Action Australia Wide and Australian Overseas Posts

Day of National Commemoration

Anzac Day, Monday 25 April 2016

Anzac Day is a day of special significance to all Australians, particularly to the returned veterans of Australia. The Centenary of Anzac 2014 to 2018 is an important period of national commemoration. For further information on the Anzac Centenary please see http://www.anzaccentenary.gov.au.

In accordance with Australian flag protocol, the Australian National Flag should be flown at half-mast on Monday 25 April 2016 from dawn until noon in your locality, at which time the flag should be raised to the peak of the flag mast for the remainder of the day. This advice applies to buildings and establishments occupied by Australian Government departments and affiliated agencies. Other organisations are welcome to participate.

In accordance with flag protocol, all flags and ensigns at each flag station should be flown at half-mast. However, should it be the custom to fly the flags of other nations at your flag station, it would be appropriate to seek permission from the diplomatic representatives of that nation to half-mast their flag.

The financial and staffing implications arising from public holiday flag marshal duties are the responsibility of each organisation.

Further information on the protocols for half-masting the Australian National Flag is at http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/symbols/flag.cfm.

Should you wish to hold an Anzac Day ceremony, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs provides an outline which includes information on flag protocol as part of the ceremony http://www.anzacportal.dva.gov.au/events/conduct.

Your assistance is appreciated.

Commonwealth Flag Officer

19 April 2016

Commonwealth Day 2016

To:  All Flag Marshals: Action Australia-wide and action at Australian overseas posts

COMMONWEALTH DAY – Monday 14 March 2016

Commonwealth Day is celebrated every year by 53 Commonwealth countries on the second Monday in March.  This year it falls on Monday 14 March 2016.  The aim of commemorating Commonwealth Day is to promote understanding of global issues, international co-operation and the work of the Commonwealth of Nations to improve the lives of its citizens.

The theme for Commonwealth Day 2016 is ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’, which celebrates the diversity of the Commonwealth, which is made up of more than two billion people. Every one of them is different, and each of them has something unique to offer. Further information about this year’s theme is available at http://thecommonwealth.org/inclusivecommonwealth.

In accordance with Australian flag protocol, the Australian National Flag should be flown all day on Monday 14 March 2016 on Australian Government buildings and establishments.

State, territory and local government agencies as well as non-government organisations are also welcome to follow this protocol.

The financial and staffing implications arising from public holiday flag marshal duties in some states and territories are the responsibility of each organisation.

Information on flag protocol can be found at http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/symbols/flag.cfm.

Your assistance is appreciated.

Commonwealth Flag Officer

7 March 2016

BOMBING OF DARWIN 1942

To All Flag Marshals: For action in the NT only

BOMBING OF DARWIN 1942

Friday 19 February 2016

The Northern Territory Government has requested half-masting of flags for ‘Bombing of Darwin Day’.

On 19 February 1942, mainland Australia came under attack for the first time when Japanese forces mounted two air raids on Darwin.  The two attacks involved 54 land-based bombers and approximately 188 attack aircraft which were launched from four Japanese aircraft-carriers in the Timor Sea.  The raids killed at least 243 people and between 300 and 400 were wounded.  Twenty military aircraft were destroyed, eight ships at anchor in the harbour were sunk and most civil and military facilities in Darwin were destroyed.

To mark the 74th Commemoration of the Bombing of Darwin the Australian National Flag should be flown at half-mast on Friday 19 February 2016 from dawn until noon in the Northern Territory only, at which time the flag should be raised to the peak of the flag mast for the remainder of the day.  This advice applies to buildings and establishments occupied by Australian Government departments and affiliated agencies.  Other organisations are welcome to participate.

In accordance with flag protocol, all flags and ensigns at each flag station should be flown at half-mast during this time.  However, should it be the custom to fly the flags of other nations at your flag station, it would be appropriate to seek permission from the diplomatic representatives of that nation to half-mast their flag.

Further information on the protocols for half-masting the Australian National Flag is at http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/symbols/flag.cfm.

Your assistance is appreciated.

Commonwealth Flag Officer

15 February 2016

Anniversary of the Apology to Members of the Stolen Generations

To All Flag Marshals: Action Australia-wide

Anniversary of the Apology to Members of the Stolen Generations

Saturday 13 February 2016

On 13 February 2008 the Australian Parliament made a formal apology to members of the Stolen Generations.  To recognise the anniversary of the occasion and in national recognition of Indigenous Australians, the Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag should be flown on additional flagpoles, where available, next to or near the Australian National Flag on Australian Government buildings and establishments all day on Saturday 13 February 2016.

If there is only one flagpole available at a flag station the Australian Aboriginal Flag or the Torres Strait Islander Flag should not replace the Australian National Flag.  But if two flagpoles are available, it is at the discretion of the authority concerned to determine which of the two flags is flown with the Australian National Flag.  The Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag have equal status and may be flown in any order after the Australian National Flag.

Should it be the practice to fly other flags at the flag station, please refer to the Order of Precedence for flying the Australian National Flag along with other flags which can be found in the ‘Australian Flags’ booklet (http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/symbols/docs/australian_flags_excerpt.pdf).

State, territory and local government agencies as well as non-government organisations are also welcome to follow this protocol.

The financial and staffing implications arising from public holiday flag marshal duties are the responsibility of each organisation.

Your assistance is appreciated.

Commonwealth Flag Officer

10 February 2016

Anniversary of the 2009 Victorian Bush Fires

To All Flag Marshals: Action Victoria Only (optional elsewhere)

Australian National Flag to fly at half-mast

Anniversary of the 2009 Victorian Bush Fires

Sunday 7 February 2016

The Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet has advised that flags in Victoria will be flown at half-mast on Sunday 7 February 2016 to honour the victims of the Victorian bush fires in February 2009.

As a mark of mourning and respect the Australian National Flag should be flown at half-mast all day on Sunday 7 February 2016 in Victoria only (optional elsewhere) from all buildings and establishments occupied by Australian Government departments and affiliated agencies.  Other organisations are welcome to participate.

In accordance with flag protocol, all flags and ensigns at each flag station should be flown at half-mast during daylight hours.  However, should it be the custom to fly the flags of other nations at your flag station, it would be appropriate to seek permission from the diplomatic representatives of that nation to half-mast their flag.

The financial and staffing implications arising from public holiday flag marshal duties are the responsibility of each organisation.

Further information on the protocols for half-masting the Australian National Flag is at http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/symbols/flag.cfm.

Thank you for your assistance.

Commonwealth Flag Officer

5 February 2016

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Last Updated: 13 November, 2012