For over two years together we have been fighting to see the flag free from the restrictions of copyright. The announcement today, to free the iconic flag that has become a symbol of Aboriginal Australia is now freely available for public use, after its designer agreed to transfer copyright to the Commonwealth following long negotiations. This is an enormous collective win for everyone who has been a part of this movement. Public advocacy has paid off. The flag is now back in the public domain where it belongs as the public symbol that all flags should be.
To the Aboriginal Community organisations, the Aboriginal Community leaders, the people who gave evidence at the Senate inquiry, the 165,000 supporters that signed the Pride not Profit petition, the countless people that wrote to their MPs, to the sporting clubs, and many politicians across all parties – together we have created real change.
For everyone that has received a Cease and Desist for the use of the flag or was forced to ask permission for its use and pay a fee to celebrate it – we are so glad that the chains of the copyright have been released. Today we have finally seen some closure on an issue that should have been addressed when the Aboriginal flag was proclaimed in 1995 as an official flag of this country.
The journey of a truly free flag still continues with technicalities behind the agreement still unclear, but this is a giant leap for flag equality from what we have seen in recent years. In the past two years we have seen so many incredibly creative iterations of the Aboriginal flag whilst working around the copyright. We are so excited to see the Aboriginal flag return to Communities and to see people wear and celebrate it without fear of retribution.
We won’t ever forget seeing Free the Flag tees and conversations swarm the Sir Doug Nicholls Round of 2020 or the countless submissions to the Senate Enquiry. There are so many moments to reflect on in this campaign and we cannot wait to celebrate together.
When we wear our values on our tees in political fashion that spark conversations, we can influence social change.
“There is no greater feeling than equality. For the first time, we as Aboriginal people have something of equal value. I’ve been fighting discrimination for 25 years during my sporting career and as a Senator, and the flag is something that has been so close to me as an Aboriginal person and now I have sheer delight that we have something of equality in this country.” Nova Peris OAM OLY
“Now the Aboriginal flag really is a flag. It is no longer an item of private property that is being used and abused. Now the flag represents Indigenous Australians and can do its job.”
Peter Francis, FAL Lawyers as pro-bono legal support to the Free the Flag campaign.
‘This is the greatest day of our lives and now as Aboriginal people have had a win for something that is very special. Our people have been buried with this flag and now we don’t have to get permission to use it. We have had to ask for permission to use everything else, the land, our language, culture, and now we don’t have to ask permission any more to at least use our flag.
Michael Connolly (Munda-gutta Kulliwari), Dreamtimme Kullilla Art
“Now we have a flag for our future generations and this is just a blimp in its history.
Laura Thompson, Clothing The Gaps
IMPORTANT TO NOTE
Carroll & Richardson Flagworld still hold an EXCLUSIVE LICENCE to reproduce or authorise the reproduction of the design of the Aboriginal Flag on flags, pennants, banners and bunting and to manufacture. promote, advertise distribute and sell those products throughout the world. This Licence remains with Carroll Richardson Flagworld as had been the case when Harold Thomas owned the copyright. This License is in force for a period of 70 years after his passing. Royalties arising from the Licence will now be paid to the Commowealth and not to Mr Thomas for the specific ongoing work of NAIDOC
PLEASE NOTE that Dreamtime Kullilla-Art is and has been for many years an authorised endorsed and recommended supplier of these licensed Flags from Carroll Richardson Flagworld
PLEASE ALSO NOTE that it is a breach of Copyright Laws for anyone other than Carroll Richardson Flagworld to reproduce or authorise the reproduction of the design of the Aboriginal Flag on flags, pennants, banners and bunting. This ensures the benefits to flow onto all Aboriginal Communites through the ongoing work of NAIDOC and to now maintain the integrity of this Flag and that it remains totally Australia Made.