Flag Protocols


The Australian National Flag is our most important national symbol, so it's important to show respect and dignity. Here is a list of rules from the Federal Government around the protocols involved with the the Australian National Flag.

How to fly the Australian Flag correctly:
  • 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, lowered, 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 may either be placed in a permanent place of storage or should be destroyed privately and in a dignified way such as cutting it into small unrecognisable pieces, placing it in an appropriate sealed bag or closed container and then putting it in the normal rubbish collection. An outline for an optional flag retirement ceremony is provided below.
  • 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)
  • Information on the protocols for displaying and folding the flag can be found in Part 2 of the booklet Australian flags, which is also available from your Federal Member of Parliament or Senator.
Flag ProtocolsFlag Protocols