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Australian National Flag Protocols

As one of Australia’s most important symbols, the flag should be used with respect and dignity. These protocols will assist you when flying or using the flag, including as part of flag-raising ceremonies.

FLYING THE FLAG

  • Raise the flag briskly and lower it ceremoniously
  • Do not raise the flag earlier than first light or lower the flag later than dusk
  • When the flag is raised or lowered or is carried in a parade or review, everyone present should be silent and face the flag and 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
  • The Australian National Flag should be raised first and lowered last, unless all other flags at the ceremony are raised and lowered simultaneously
  • 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
  • The Australian National Flag should fly on the left of a person facing the flags, when it is flown with one other national flag
  • Do not fly two flags from the same flagpole
  • Only fly the flag at night when it is illuminated
  • Do not fly the flag if it is damaged, faded or dilapidated
  • When the material of a flag deteriorates it should be destroyed privately and in a dignified way such as cutting it into small unrecognisable pieces then putting it in the normal rubbish collection
  • Do not fly the flag upside down, even as a signal of distress.
  • Do not allow the flag to fall or lie on the ground or be used as a cover (although it can be used to cover a coffin at a funeral)

ORDER OF PRECEDENCE

When the flag is flown in Australia or Australian territory it takes precedence over all other national flags and should be flown in the position of honour.

After the Australian National Flag, the order of precedence of flags is: national flag of other nations, state and territory flags, other Australian flags prescribed by the Flags Act 1953, ensigns and pennants.

The flag should not be flown in a position inferior to any other flag or ensign and should not be smaller than any other flag or ensign.

More information on the protocols for displaying and folding the flag can be found on the It's an Honour Website