- Policy Statement and Principles
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Flag-flying protocol
- Order of precedence
- Flying flags at half-mast
- Revision made to this Policy
The Australian Catholic University (ACU) Brand Guidelines reflect our vision and corporate identity. Furthermore, our Brand Guidelines emphasise our stance as a national university. Our logo, the ACU shield, the ACU cross and Mission Statement are all significant components in communicating who we are and enhancing our Catholic identity.
The Flags Policy further underlines the University’s place as a significant national tertiary education provider that values its history, traditions, beliefs and associations.
The University’s colours and crest are used to further promote the ACU brand. The ACU flag is available for loan through the Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President for use at various ACU events, as deemed appropriate by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President. This policy also introduces the Vatican Flag, which is a further alignment and promotion of our Catholic identity.
This policy outlines the procedures to be observed at all ACU campuses to ensure proper display of the Australian National Flag, Australian Aboriginal Flag, Torres Strait Islander Flag, State Flags, Vatican Flag and the ACU Flag.
This policy applies to all ACU campuses.
At the request of the Vice-Chancellor and President, each of ACU’s campuses are to fly the flags listed below, with the exception of the Vatican Flag, which will be flown only at the MacKillop (North Sydney) Campus (on the flagpole outside the office of the Chief Operating Officer). Please note the MacKillop (North Sydney) Campus will have the flag set flown at both Tenison Woods House and in front of the Vice-Chancellery. The St Patricks (Melbourne) Campus will have the flag set flown outside The Daniel Mannix Building and The Mary Glowrey Building.
Australian National Flag
The Australian National Flag is Australia’s foremost national symbol. It was first flown in 1901 and has become an expression of Australian identity and pride.
The Australian National Flag flies over the Federal and State parliaments. The flag is paraded by our defence forces and displayed around the country at sporting events and by service organisations, schools, community groups and private citizens.
The Australian National Flag has three elements on a blue background: the Union Jack, the Commonwealth Star and the Southern Cross.
The Union Jack in the upper left corner (or canton) acknowledges the history of British settlement.
Below the Union Jack is a white Commonwealth or Federation star. It has seven points representing the unity of the six states and the territories of the Commonwealth of Australia. The star is also featured on the Commonwealth Coat of Arms.
The Southern Cross is shown on the fly of the flag in white. This constellation of five stars can be seen only from the Southern hemisphere and is a reminder of Australia’s geographical position.
Australian Aboriginal Flag
The Australian Aboriginal Flag was first raised on 12 July 1971 at Victoria Square in Adelaide. It was also used at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972.
The top half of the flag is black to symbolise Indigenous people. The red in the lower half stands for the earth and the colour of ochre, which has ceremonial significance. The circle of yellow in the centre of the flag represents the sun.
The Australian Aboriginal Flag is displayed at Aboriginal centres and is well recognised as the flag of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia. It is flown during NAIDOC Week to celebrate and promote greater understanding of Indigenous peoples and culture, during National Reconciliation Week in recognition of 27 May as the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum that removed from the Constitution clauses that discriminated against indigenous Australians and on 3 June as the anniversary of the High Court decision in the Eddie Mabo land rights case of 1992.
Torres Strait Islander Flag
The Torres Strait Islander Flag is an official flag of Australia, along with the Australian National Flag and the Australian Aboriginal Flag. The Torres Strait Islander Flag stands for the unity and identity of all Torres Strait Islanders. It is widely flown during NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week to celebrate and promote greater understanding of Indigenous peoples and their culture.
State Flag - Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
The ACT flag is divided into two panels - the hoist third a yellow Southern Cross on a blue background, the fly two-thirds with the blue coat of arms of the Australian Capital Territory (shield with castle, beneath which is a rose and above crossed mace and sword, supporters a black swan and a white swan) on a yellow background.
State Flag – New South Wales (NSW)
The badge on the NSW State flag consists of a golden lion passant guardant (right to left) on a red St George's Cross on a silver background (usually depicted in white), with an eightpointed star on each extremity of the cross.
State Flag – Queensland
The badge on the Queensland State flag consists of a light blue Maltese Cross with an Imperial Crown at its centre, on a white background.
State Flag – South Australia
The badge on the South Australian State flag is the White-Backed Magpie (or Piping Shrike), erect, wings outstretched, on a yellow background.
State Flag – Victoria
The Victorian State flag features a white Southern Cross (one star of eight- points, two of seven points, one of six points and one of five points), beneath an Imperial Crown.
The flag of the Vatican City State is divided vertically into two equal stripes, yellow (at the hoist) and white (at the fly). The white stripe bears the traditional papal emblem, the crossed keys of St. Peter beneath the papal tiara. It is commonly called the “papal flag” (Italian, 6 | FLAGS POLICY bandiera pontificia), and was adopted on June 7, 1929, in the State constitution. It was first flown by Papal States merchant ships from 1825-1870.
Roman Catholics throughout the world sometimes use the Vatican flag to promote Catholic identity at churches, educational institutions, and other establishments. Note: The Vatican Flag will fly outside the office of the Chief Operating Officer at the MacKillop Campus in North Sydney.
The ACU Flag features the university’s ceremonial brandmark. Incorporating the heraldically authentic University Crest, it reflects the prestigious nature of graduation ceremonies. It is made up of a shield, the ‘Australian Catholic University’ wording and proudly displays the university’s ‘Truth in Love’ motto housed in a scroll. The ACU flag will be displayed on all ACU campuses, with the ceremonial brandmark reserved for Ceremonial use only, namely graduations.
Policy Statement and Principles
The Flags Policy builds on the important role that visual images play in enhancing our brand and associations. These physical symbols not only reflect our national focus and Mission, but also our core values. These include recognition of the traditional owners of the lands upon which the University is situated across Australia, and promotion of our Catholic identity.
Roles and Responsibilities
The successful implementation of this policy relies on the commitment of the Associate Vice-Chancellors, Campus Deans and the Properties Directorate.
The Properties Directorate responsibilities include:
- Arranging installation of flagpoles on all ACU campuses
- Purchasing the required flags as outlined in this policy
- Liaising with Associate Vice-Chancellor’s and Campus Deans on appropriate campus locations for flagpole installation
The Offices of the Associate Vice-Chancellor and Campus Dean responsibilities include:
- Ensuring the relevant flags listed in this policy are flown in accordance with the Flags policy
- Championing this policy at a local level on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor and President
- Adhering to the standards of display
- Ensuring that the half-masting of flags is undertaken as appropriate on the occasions outlined in this policy for each individual flag (see Flag-flying protocol)
The Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President’s responsibilities includes:
- Housing and issuing the ACU flag for events
Staff and student responsibilities include:
- Ensuring that all flags are treated with respect and dignity
All flags will follow the same flag flying protocol as the Australian National Flag (source Protocol for Australian National Flag):
- Flags will be flown every day of the year and in particular on Australia Day, ANZAC Day and Australian National Flag Day.
- Flags should be used with respect and dignity.
- Flags should be raised briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
- Flags should be raised no earlier than first light and lowered no later than dusk.
- When the flags are raised or lowered, or when they are carried in a parade or review, everyone present should be silent and face the flags. People in uniform should salute.
- The flags should always be flown freely and as close as possible to the top of the flagpole with the rope tightly secured.
- Unless all flags are raised and lowered simultaneously, the Australian National Flag should be raised first and lowered last.
- 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.
- Two flags should not be flown from the same flagpole.
- Flags may be flown at night only when they are illuminated.
- Flags should never be flown if damaged, faded or dilapidated. When the material of a flag deteriorates it should be destroyed privately and in a dignified way. I.e. it may be cut into small unrecognisable pieces then disposed of with the normal rubbish collection.
- Flags should not be flown upside down, even as a signal of distress.
- Flags should not 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
- The Australian National Flag takes precedence over all national flags when it is flown in Australia or an Australian territory.
- 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
- The Australian National Flag should not normally be flown in a position inferior to any other flag or ensign and should not be smaller than any other flag or ensign.
Flying flags at half-mast
The Offices of the Associate Vice-Chancellor and Campus Dean are responsible for determining and communicating when flags should be flown at half-mast, based on the following principles that accord with the half-masting protocol for the Australian National Flag. Offices of the Associate Vice-Chancellor and Campus Dean should register with the Commonwealth Flag Network for up to date advice on Flag Flying.
- Flags are flown at half-mast as a sign of mourning.
- The half-mast position will depend on the size of the flag and the length of the flagpole. The flag must be lowered to a position recognisably half-mast to avoid the appearance of a flag which has
accidentally fallen away from the top of the flagpole. An acceptable position would be when the top
of the flag is a third of the distance down from the top of the flagpole.
- Flags in any locality can be flown at half-mast on the death of a local citizen or on the day, or part of the day, of their funeral.
- When lowering the flag from a half-mast position it should be briefly raised to the peak and then lowered ceremoniously.
- The flag should never be flown at half-mast at night even if it is illuminated.
- When flying the Australian National Flag with other flags, all flags in the set should be flown at halfmast. The Australian National Flag should be raised first and lowered last.
The Campus Board may request changes to this policy via the Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President.
If further assistance is required please contact the following officers:
Ms Simone Chetcuti
Director, Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President
T: 02 9739 2930
Professor Jim Nyland
Associate Vice-Chancellor, Brisbane Chair, Campus Board
T: 07 3623 7110
Revision made to this Policy
ACU flag design changed in line with ACU Brand Guidelines.
Page last updated: 2018-04-24
Short url: https://policies.acu.edu.au/1433907