Designed by Harold Joseph Thomas, A Luritja man from Central Australia, the Aboriginal flag was first flown in Adelaide on National Aborigines Day, 12 July.
It became the official flag for the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra after it was first flown there in 1972. Since then, it has become a widely recognised symbol of the unity and identity of Aboriginal people.
In view of the flag’s wide acceptance and importance in Australian society, the Commonwealth took steps in 1994 to give the flag legal recognition. After a period of public consultation, in July 1995 the Aboriginal flag was proclaimed a ‘Flag of Australia’ under the Flags Act 1953.
In 1997 the Federal Court recognised Harold Thomas as the author of the flag.