Australian Flag Protocol

The Australian Government has outlined their protocols for flying the Australian flag. We have compiled key information below:

Click on each section to learn more about Australian flag protocols

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Raising and lowering a flag

  • When other flags are present, it should be hoisted first and lowered last
  • The flag should be flown freely and securely, as close as possible to the top of the flagpole
  • It should not be raised before first light or lowered later than dusk
  • If flown at night it should be illuminated
  • It should not be allowed to touch or lie on the ground

Flying multiple flags

  • All flags should, if possible, be the same size and flown on flagpoles of the same height
  • If one pole is higher, the Australian flag should be flown on that flagpole
  • When flying as a set of three, the Australian flag should be in the centre
  • If there is only one other national flag, the Australian flag should fly on the left (when facing the building)
  • When flying with several other national flags, the flags should follow from left to right in alphabetical order
  • When flying with state flags and/or other flags such as the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Island or government flags etc., the Australian flag should always be flown on the far left (a comprehensive list of additional flags can be found here)

Flying at half-mast

Flags are flown at half-mast as a sign of mourning, The flag should be lowered to a position recognisably half-mast to avoid the appearance that the flag has accidentally slipped from the top of the flagpole. When flying the Australian flag with other flags, all flags should be flown at half-mast, though the Australian flag should be raised first and lowered last.

A flag should not be flown at half-mast at night, even if illuminated, unless direction to half-mast the flag for an extended period of time has been given. Occasionally the Australian Government will advise for all flags to be flown at half-mast. You can keep up to date with notices by filling out the Commonwealth Flag Network form here.

Flags in any locality may be flown at half-mast on the death of a local citizen or on the day, or part of the day, of their funeral without direction from the Australian Government.

Funeral protocols

The Australian flag may be used to cover the coffin of any deceased Australian citizen at their funeral. The canton (upper left corner) of the flag should be draped over the left shoulder of the coffin, and should be removed either before the coffin is lowered into the grave or, if at a crematorium, after the service.

Special flag days

The following are days for which the flying of the Australian flag and, where appropriate, other flags are particularly encouraged.

  • 1 January: Anniversary of the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia
  • 26 January: Australia Day
  • 13 February: Anniversary of the Apology to Members of the Stolen Generation
  • March, second Monday: Commonwealth Day
  • 21 March: Harmony Day
  • 25 April: ANZAC Day
  • 9 May (ACT Only): Anniversary of the inauguration of Canberra as the seat of government
  • 27 May - 3 June: National Reconciliation Week
  • June, second Monday (except QLD and WA): King's Birthday
  • July, nominated week: NAIDOC Week
  • 3 September: Australian National Flag Day
  • 17 September: Citizenship Day
  • 24 October: United Nations Day
  • 11 November: Remembrance Day

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