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Torres Strait Islanders (Australia)

Last modified: 2006-02-05 by jonathan dixon
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Torres Strait Islander flag, proportion 23:31
[Torres Strait Islander flag, version 1] image by Ivan Sache

Torres Strait Islander flag, proportion 1:2
[Torres Strait Islander flag, version 2] image by Ivan Sache


See also:


The Torres Strait Islanders

from Carol Foley's The Australian Flag [fol96]:

"The Torres Strait Islands are located in Torres Strait, which separates mainland Australia from New Guinea. The Torres Strait Islanders are of melanesian extraction, so they are not related to the Australian Aborigines. They are, however, Australian citizens. The Island Coordinating Council and the Torres Strait Regional Council wanted to adopt a flag to represent the unity and identity of the people. After several years of considering various designs for a distinctive flag, the present flag was formally adopted in May during the 1992 Torres Strait Islands Cultural Festival. The design was recognised by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) in June 1992, and the flag was given equal prominence with the Aboriginal flag.

The Torres Strait Islander flag was officially proclaimed to be the flag of the Torres strait Islander people of Australia in The Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 14 July 1995 pursuant to s 5 of the Flags Act 1953.

The flag was designed by the late Bernard Namok of Thursday Island. It is divided horizontally into three panels. The two outside panels are deep green and the broader middle is dep blue, fimbriated in black. A stylised white dhari (dancer's head dress) is set in the centre of the blue panel, with a five-pointed star beneath it. The colour green is said to represent the land, blue id for the sea, white represents peace and black stands for the people. The dhari is a symbol of all Torres Strait Islanders and the five-pointed star represents the island groups - the eastern, central, western, the Port Kennedy area and the northern peninsula area. The star is also used in navigation and so has a further significance to the seafaring Torres Strait Islanders."

David Cohen, 9 November 1997

Album des Pavillons [pie90] gives proportions of 23:31 (!) or 1:2.
Ivan Sache, 17 September 1999

Another Image

[Torres Straight Islanders] image by Klara Hansen

This image has in my opinion a better depiction of the dhari, and also more accurate colours.
Jonathan Dixon, 30 August 2000

My notes say that the blue stripe is the same size as the two green strips put together, that the ratio is 14:29, that the emblem is similar to that shown, but a bit different, and that the shade of blue is darker.
Jaume Ollé, 30 August 2000


Unidentified Flag

[Unidentified Flag]

In Canberra at the National Art Gallery was an exhibition on Torres Strait Islanders. A video was shown, briefly seen was this flag. It is very similar to Christmas Island, possibly related.
Marc Pasquin, 10 December 2001

See the similar flag of Saibai Island.