Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Facilities Management
Authoring Organisational Unit
Campus Services - Facilities Operations
Date Approved
29/08/2016 Revised 20/07/2016
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Community And Engagement

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The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Flag Protocol

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

Flag raising and lowering of the National Flag, Official Australian Flags, Western Australian Flag and community flags at the University of Western Australia.


"National Flag" has three elements on a blue background: the Union Jack, the Commonwealth Star and the Southern Cross.

"Western Australian Flag" is based on the defaced British Blue Ensign with the state badge located in the fly. The badge is a gold disc with a native black swan; the swan is facing towards the hoist. Specifications of the State Flag (PDF 401KB).

"Aboriginal Flag" The top half of the flag is black. The lower half is red with a circle of yellow in the centre.

"Torres Strait Islander Flag" Green panels at the top and bottom of the flag and central blue panel with black lines dividing the panels.

The centre of the flag shows a white dhari. Underneath the dhari is a white five-pointed star.

"Community Flags" include the Rainbow Flag and Flags of community organisations and causes.

Policy statement:

The University of Western Australia acknowledges and respects the Australian National flag and follows the Australian Government's protocol as determined by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

As the nation's foremost symbol, the national flag should be used with respect and dignity.

1 Principles

1.1 The University of Western Australia will fly the Australian National flag, the Aboriginal Flag and the Western Australian Flag.

1.2 The protocols provided by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet are applied at UWA.


Flying the flag

Order of precedence

Flying flags at half-mast


Flag Raising Ceremonies

• The flag should be raised briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

• The flag should be raised no earlier than first light and lowered no later than dusk.

• When the flag is raised or lowered, or when it is carried in a parade or review, everyone present should be silent and face the flag. People in uniform should salute.

• The flag should always be flown freely and as close as possible to the top of the flagpole with the rope tightly secured.

• Unless all flags are raised and lowered simultaneously, the Australian National Flag should be raised first and lowered last.

• When the Australian National Flag is flown with flags of other nations, all flags should be the same size and flown on flagpoles of the same height

• When flying with only one other national flag, the Australian National Flag should fly on the left of a person facing the flags.

• Two flags should not be flown from the same flagpole.

• The flag may be flown at night only when it is illuminated.

• The flag should never be flown if it is damaged, faded or dilapidated. When the material of a flag deteriorates it should be destroyed privately and in a dignified way. i.e. it may be cut into small unrecognisable pieces then disposed of with the normal rubbish collection.

• The flag should not be flown upside down, even as a signal of distress.

• The flag should not fall or lie on the ground or be used as a cover (although it can be used to cover a coffin at a funeral).

• Information on the protocols for displaying and folding the flag can be found in Part 2 of the booklet Australian flags (PDF 928KB) , which is available from your Federal Member of Parliament or Senator.

1.3 The order of precedence for flying flags at UWA is:

1. Australian National Flag

2. State flag

3. The Aboriginal Flag

4. Other flags prescribed by the Flags Act 1953

5. Community Flags, Ensigns and Pennants (including local government, private organisations, sporting clubs and community groups)

1.4 Unless all flags on display can be raised and lowered simultaneously, the Australian National Flag should be raised first and lowered last.

1.5 Flags of other nations

UWA acknowledges and respects the flags of other nations but usually flags of other nations will not be raised at UWA.

1.6 Community Flags

The University may raise community flag(s), at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor who will consult for advice with the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Community and Engagement) and the UWA Student Guild President.


Community flags must be delivered to Security the day before the approved date.

Approved dates and community flag raisings include:

The flag of the Torres Strait Islanders to be raised during NAIDOC week and Reconciliation week

The Rainbow Flag during

• UWA Pride week, (August or September - Security to be advised annually of dates by Pride Officers);

• WA PrideFest week, (November - Security to be advised annually of dates by Senior Diversity Officer);

• International Day Against Homophobia Transphobia Biphobia Day (17th May);

• Stonewall Day (27th June); and

• World HIV/AIDS Day (1st December).

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Manager, Campus Services

Related Policies or legislation:

Specifications of the State Flag (PDF 401KB)

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