National Flag Rules and Etiquette
Following are the regulations for the display of the national colours of Australia.
The dignity of the Flag
- The National flag is to be displayed only in a manner befitting the national emblem; it should not be subjected to indignity or displayed in a position inferior to any other flag or ensign.
- The national flag always takes precedence over the national flag of other sovereign states.
- It should always be flown aloft and free.
- It is undignified to use the National flag in any of the following ways:
- As a table or seat cover.
- Allowing it to fall onto or lie upon the ground.
- As a masking for boxes, barriers or intervening space between floor and ground level on a dais or platform.
- Due consideration should be given to flag etiquette and precedence whenever the National flag is displayed.
- If a purely decorative effect is desired without the involvement of precedence, it is better to confine the display to flags of lesser status, e.g. house flags, or pennants of coloured bunting.
Position of the Australian National Flag for Display
- On a staff.
- The top-left (first) quarter also known as the upper hoist, is to be placed in the position nearest the top of the staff.
- When carried, the flag should be aloft and free.
- On a flag rope (halyard).
- The top-left quarter is to be placed uppermost, raised as closely as possible to the top, with the halyard tight.
- Flat against a wall.
- The top-left quarter is to be placed uppermost on the observer’s left, as viewed from the front.
Position of Honour When Displaying the National Flag
- When displayed alone at a meeting.
- On a speaker’s platform:
- flat against the wall (as in the flying position) above and behind the speaker
- on a staff on the speaker’s right as he faces the audience
- In the main body of the hall from a staff on the left of the audience as they face the platform.
- When the national flag is carried into a church, it is never necessary to have a colour party. Flags may be placed in the front of the church in the appropriate holders, bearers would then be seated in the church body OR the bears may stand on the rostrum or in the body of the church with their flags. National flag bearer to the right of the speaker and all other flag bear/s to the left of the speaker.
- When displayed with the Pathfinder flag.
- Against a wall with crossed staffs, the National flag should be on the observer’s left when facing the flags, and the staff bearing the National flag should be in front of the staff bearing the Pathfinder flag.
- On a dais, the National flag should be on the speaker’s right and all other flags on the speaker’s left.
- On the floor, the National flag should be at the left of the audience as they face the platform. Other flags are to be to the right of the audience.
- On a speaker’s platform:
For Full Information on Australian National Flag Rules and Etiquette
Description of the Pathfinder Flag
The Pathfinder flag is the official flag to be displayed by each Pathfinder Club. The flag is rectangular in shape, and is divided through the centre both vertically and horizontally making four equal parts. The background colours are royal blue and white alternately sewn together with the upper left hand corner being royal blue. The Pathfinder emblem is centred in the heart of the background. The colours are descriptive of the purposes and ideals of Pathfindering. The flag measures approximately 1×1.5 metres in size, and the staff 2 metres long and 38mm in diameter. The name of the Pathfinder Club is displayed in the lower right hand blue quadrant. It is proper to display the Pathfinder flag at such occasions as Pathfinder Fairs and Camporees, Pathfinder Day including investitures in the church, civic parades, etc. Pathfinder flags may be ordered from the Adventist Book Centre.
Displaying the Pathfinder Flag
- When displayed with the National flag:
- On a dais, the National flag should be on the speaker’s right, and all other flags including the Pathfinder Flag, on the speaker’s left
- On the floor, the National flag should be at the left of the audience as they face the platform. Other flags , including the Pathfinder Flag, are to be to the right of the audience.
- When displayed on its own the Pathfinder flag
- Should be displayed on the speaker’s left. (i.e. to the audience’s right)
How to fold a flag for breaking at a flagpole
|Flag folding||The following diagrams show how to fold the flag properly:|
|A Start like this|
|B Fold lengthwise bottom side to topside once and then once again|
|C Bring the ends together|
|D Now concertina by folding backwards and forwards towards the hoist edge|
|E Keep the flag bundled by winding the halyard around and under itself.|
Folding a Flag for Closing Ceremonies
- To fold the flag two persons should work together.
- One person should hold the upper left-hand quarter of the flag in the right hand and the other corner of that end of the flag in the left hand. The other person holds the other end of the flag.
- They fold as follows:
- Fold in the middle lengthwise, then fold in the middle lengthwise again, leaving the upper left-hand quarter outside.
- Begin at the opposite end of the flag from the upper left-hand quarter and fold one corner in a triangle upon the upper edge of the long fold. Now fold this triangle forward along its side on to the main body of the flag, thus making another triangle fold. Continue this process until the flag is completely folded.
- Alternatively, after folding the flag lengthwise as described in “1” it may be folded in a rectangular way. To do this, fold the opposite ends of the flag together and continue the process until the upper left-hand quarter covers the rest of the flag.
For Table Cloth Fold:
- Fold in the middle lengthwise, leaving the upper left-hand quarter outside.
- After folding the flag lengthwise as described in “1” it may be folded in a rectangular way. To do this, fold the opposite ends of the flag together and continue the process until the upper left-hand quarter covers the rest of the flag.
- This method allows for easy forearm to forearm transfer of a folded flag.
Attention (The Order Position)
This position is adopted by the flag bearer when on parade and the parade is standing at ‘’attention’’.
The body is held in the position of ‘’attention’’ except that the right hand will hold the flagstaff perpendicular on the right side; wrist well behind the staff, thumb on the left and touching the leg, back of the hand to the right; fingers straight and together on the right side of the staff and slanting towards the ground, heel of the staff on the ground and touching the toe of the right foot. The staff tucked into the right shoulder.
Stand at Ease
This position is adopted by the flag bearer when on parade and the parade is standing ‘’at ease’’.
Leg and left arm movements are the same for drill without a flag. The staff is pushed straight to the front by keeping the right arm straight and extended to its fullest position. Care should be taken to ensure that the staff is grasped firmly and that the right shoulder does not droop.
On the command, ‘’Atten-TION’’, return to ‘’the order’’ position.
This position is adopted before the command is given to ‘’Quick MARCH’’.
‘’Flagbearer, to the CARRY’’.
- The left arm bending at the elbow is snapped across the body to the right side in a horizontal position and grasped the staff between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, fingers held together.
- The staff is released from the grip of the right hand, which then acts as a guide for the staff as the left hand raises the staff to place the end in a holster receptacle and held in position by the right hand to the bottom of the staff and the left hand in a comfortable position well above the right hand.
- The staff is to be held in the vertical position with the flag allowed to fly free.
- The Pathfinder flag may be carried by hand as described above.
Carrying the Flag
The Pathfinder Flag carried in a march past will be carried in the vertical position in a holster receptacle and held in position by the right hand to the bottom of the staff and the left hand in a comfortable position well above the right hand, no higher than the bearer’s eye level. The Pathfinder flag may be carried by hand as described above
The salute (present colours) will be carried out by removing the flagpole from the holster, tucking the staff under the right armpit and lowering the staff until the flag is just clearing the ground. Staff should be held with both hands. Flag bear will turn their head to the right during the salute.
After the Salute
After the salute has been given the colours will be returned to the vertical position held by hand or returned to the holster receptacle on the command, ‘’Eyes FRONT’’. Flag bear will turn their head to the front.