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The Aboriginal Flag Has Been Freed With Rights Now With The Commonwealth

The iconic flag that has become a symbol for Aboriginal Australia has been made publicly available for use for the first time after its designer transferred the copyright to the Commonwealth.

Luritja artist Harold Thomas created the flag in 1970 to represent Aboriginal people and their connection to the land. It has been used as the official flag since the end of the last century. However, any use of the flag had to be approved, as the rights remained with Mr. Thomas.

Explaining that the flag's design was his dream story, Mr Thomas said it represents the timeless history of our land - and our people’s time on it.

“It is an introspection and appreciation of who we are," 

"It draws from the history of our ancestors, our land, and our identity and will honour these well into the future." he said.

Indigenous Affairs Minister, Ken Wyatt, proudly stated "Now that the Commonwealth holds the copyright, it belongs to everyone, and no-one can take it away."

The Australian government has also agreed to establish an annual scholarship in Mr Thomas's honour worth $100,000 for Indigenous students, focused on developing their leadership skills. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the flag would be managed in a similar manner to the Australian national flag, where its use is free, but must be presented in a "respectful and dignified way".

He added that "All Australians can now put the Aboriginal Flag on apparel such as sports jerseys and shirts, it can be painted on sports grounds, included on websites, in paintings and other artworks, used digitally and in any other medium without having to ask for permission or pay a fee," 

Proudly adding that "We’ve freed the Aboriginal Flag for Australians."