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Flags

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The Flag of Western Australia

See Symbols of Western Australia for more information about the history, specifications and downloads of the Flag of Western Australia and State Badge.

Eligible recipients of free Western Australian State flags

Flags will be available for Members of Parliament to present to schools, local councils, churches and other non-profit or benevolent community organisations, such as local sporting clubs, guides/scouts, Rotary/Lions, voluntary support services, within their electorates and to exchange students and teachers travelling overseas.

PLEASE NOTE: the flags are not available under this program to businesses, commercial enterprises or private individuals, with the exception of exchange students/teachers. 

For further clarification please contact the Protocol Branch on (08) 6552 5359.

Government bodies are not eligible and should obtain funding for flags through the normal budget processes.

It is expected that organisations requesting a flag will display the flag on an exterior flagpole or in halls or meeting rooms. Flags may be renewed when worn. Members should exercise their discretion when providing replacement flags.

The Australian National Flag, the Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag may be requested by contacting the electorate office of your local Federal Member of Parliament. Visit the Parliament of Australia website for relevant links to Federal Members.

Flag loan service

The Protocol Branch provides a flag loan service to non-profit, benevolent and community organisations. Groups may request the short-term loan of the Australian National Flag, the Western Australian Flag and other State/Territory flags for special events. Flag loan requests can be made by contacting the Protocol Branch.

Flag protocols

There are many protocols associated with the flying of flags, some important points are listed below.

A flag should always be:

  • treated with the respect and dignity it deserves
  • raised no earlier than first light and lowered no later than dusk
  • raised briskly and lowered with dignity
  • flown aloft and free, as close to the top of the flag mast as possible and with the rope tightly secured; and
  • illuminated if flown at night.

A flag should never be:

  • allowed to fall or lie upon the ground
  • used to unveil monuments or plaques, or cover tables/seats
  • flown when in damaged, faded or dilapidated condition
  • flown upside down, even as a signal of distress
  • flown from the same flag pole as another flag.

Flag precedence

The Australian National Flag takes precedence over all flags when flown in Australia or an Australian Territory. It should not be flown in an inferior position to any other flag or ensign with the exception of the United Nations Flag on United Nations Day. The superior position is based on the formation of the flagpoles in a set, not the height of the flag on the flagpole.

Where all flag poles are the same height and positioned in a straight row, the Australian National Flag should always be positioned on the far left (ie: on the left of a person facing the building).

The correct precedence for flying flags in the community is:

  1. Australian National Flag

  2. National flags of other nations

  3. State and Territory flags

  4. Other flags prescribed by the Flags Act 1953 (including the Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag)

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

Unless all flags on display can be raised and lowered simultaneously, the Australian National Flag should be raised first and lowered last. If there are two Australian National Flags, one can be flown at each end of a line of flags.

When flying the Australian National Flag alone at a building which has more than two flagpoles, the Australian National Flag should be flown in the centre, or as near as possible to it.

Horizontal and vertical display of flags

The Australian National Flag and Australian state flags have the Union Jack in the upper left-hand quarter (the 'canton') nearest the flagpole. The canton is the position of honour on the flag. Whether the flag is displayed flat against a surface (either horizontally or vertically), on a staff, on a flag rope or suspended vertically in the middle of a street, the canton should be in the uppermost left quarter as viewed by a person facing the flag.

When the flag is displayed vertically, it appears to be back to front, however as the canton is in the upper left hand quarter, this is correct. For example:

 Australian Flag Horizontal Australian Flag Vertical WA Flag Horizontal WA Flag Vertical

Half-masting flags

Flags are flown at half-mast as a sign of mourning. The following points outline the correct protocols associated with half-masting flags:

  • When flying the Australian National Flag with other flags, all flags should be flown at half-mast together.

  • The Australian National Flag should be raised first and lowered last.

  • The flag should be raised to the top of the flagpole briefly, and then lowered slowly and ceremoniously.

  • The appropriate position is achieved by imagining another flag flying above the half-masted flag. It would be acceptable for the top of the flag to be positioned a third of the distance down the flagpole.

  • Under no circumstances are flags to be flown at half-mast after dark, even if illuminated.

Flags in any locality can be flown at half-mast on the death of a local citizen or on the day, or part of the day of their funeral.

There are occasions when direction will be given by the Australian Government for all flags to be flown at half-mast. To be notified about events such as half-mastings and other nationally significant occasions, individuals can subscribe to the Commonwealth Flag Network.

The Protocol Branch ensures that advice is provided to key Western Australian Government Agencies by conveying the Commonwealth Flag Network notification by fax stream.

Further information

Information regarding flag protocol is available from the Australian Government website, It's an Honour.

Alternatively the free publication 'Australian Flags' is available from the electorate offices of Federal Members of Parliament. Click on the relevant Australian Parliamentry links below for further information about Federal Members.