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Protocols Procedure - Flags

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure supports the Protocols Policy by stating the process and protocols for the display of flags at Charles Sturt University. 

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Section 2 - Glossary

(2) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy

(3) See the Protocols Policy

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Section 4 - Procedure


(4) The following principles apply to the display of flags on University flag poles or facilities:

  1. All flags must be treated with respect and dignity at all times.
  2. Flags must be flown, to the extent possible, consistent with the requirements in place in the country or locality where the flag is displayed.
  3. Flags should be raised no earlier than first light and should be lowered no later than dusk - flags may only be flown at night when illuminated.
  4. Two flags will not be flown on the same flagpole.
  5. The flag of one nation must never be flown above the flag of another nation.
  6. Only official and legally recognised University, national, state or local government flags may be flown from a University flagpole - flags without legal recognition and flags of unrecognised groups shall not be displayed on University flagpoles under any circumstances.
  7. Flags will be flown in accordance with the Australian National Flag protocols unless an exception is approved by the Vice-Chancellor.

Order of flags

(5) The order in which flags must be flown is set out in Protocols schedule - Flags.

(6) Where there is one flagpole on which to raise a flag, the Australian national flag will ordinarily be flown unless otherwise approved by the University Secretary.

(7) As a guide:

  1. when the Australian national flag is flown where there are two flagpoles, it should be flown on the flagpole to the left of the observer facing the flag,
  2. when there is more than one flagpole, but less than five flagpoles, the Australian national flag ordinarily takes precedence, except for subclause 7c., and
  3. on certain dates of significant cultural importance to Australia’s First Nations people, the Aboriginal national flag may fly from a single pole or the Aboriginal national flag and the Torres Strait Islander flag may fly from a series of two poles, without the Australian national flag.

(8) In determining the direction from which an observer faces the flag:

  1. where the flagpole is at the entrance to the campus or facility, the notional observer is a person entering the campus from the street at which the flagpole is located,
  2. where the flagpole is in front of a building, the notional observer is a person facing the building, and
  3. where the flagpole is not at an entrance to the campus or facility or outside a main building, the notional observer is a person approaching the flagpole as though walking in a straight line toward the flagpole from the main entrance to the campus or facility.

University Secretary approval

(9) The University Secretary will authorise the flying of flags with respect to all campuses:

  1. where an international or other delegation is attending a campus of the University (e.g. the flag of a foreign country or a United Nations body), or
  2. where there is a special event of significance to a region (e.g. the flag of a local government area).

(10) Where the Vice-Chancellor, Senior Executive, Executive Dean, Head of School or other officer is hosting a delegation at a specific campus, a request should be made to the University Secretary to arrange for the raising of the relevant national flag of the delegation (or other official flag as appropriate) as soon as possible. The University Secretary will organise the lowering and raising of the relevant flag through a nominated officer in the Facilities Management on the campus (normally the security service on that campus). The order of flags should conform to that set out in Protocols schedule - Flags.

(11) Approval by the University Secretary will not ordinarily be granted for a period greater than one week and the normal order of flags should be adopted.


(12) The University Secretary has sole authority to approve the half-masting of flags. In the absence of the University Secretary, the Vice-Chancellor must approve.

(13) The University Secretary may approve the half-masting of a flag in the following circumstances:

  1. on an official and recognised national or state dates of remembrance (e.g. 11 November), or 
  2. consistent with days of mourning relevant to the University in the relevant State or Territory where the flag pole is located, as requested by the Premier, Chief Minister, Prime Minister or other territorial leader.

(14) When any flag is displayed at half-mast, it is first raised to the peak of the mast for a moment and then lowered to half-mast. Before lowering for the night, it is raised again to the peak of the mast. When flown at half-mast, the flag should be positioned one-third width down from the mast peak of the flag pole.

(15) The University Secretary will direct the half-masting of flags to mark the death of the following officeholders of the University for the respective time periods:

Officeholder Period
Current or former Chancellor From date of formal written notification to the University Secretary of death until interment
Current or former Vice-Chancellor From date of formal written notification to the University Secretary of death until interment
Current or former member of Council or companions Date of interment
Current or former senior officers of the University Date of interment
Distinguished and publicly recognised members of staff, students, graduates, scholarship donors, members of committees and other supporters of the University as directed by the Vice-Chancellor or Chancellor Date of interment

(16) The date of establishment of the University was 19 July 1989, and is celebrated as Foundation Day on the Wednesday closest to 19 July each year. The University will, on 20 July each year, direct the lowering of flags flown by the University on all campuses and facilities of the University to half-mast to commemorate students, graduates and staff (current and former) who have died in the preceding year. Where this date falls on Foundation Day or on a weekend, the lowering of flags will occur on the first workday after that date.

(17) The University Secretary will publish a notice to staff advising them of the reasons for the half-masting as soon as reasonably possible.


(18) To mark the association of a former officeholder or eminent person with the University, the next of kin of a former Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Chancellor, member of the Order of the Companion of the University or a Doctor of the University, may request the University Secretary to provide a University flag for display at a funeral or memorial service or to drape over the casket of the deceased.

(19) When draped over the casket, the top left quarter of the flag should be draped over the left corner of the casket. The flag should be removed before the casket is lowered into the grave or, at a crematorium, after the service.

(20) The Chancellor may, in exceptional circumstances, approve the honour for other distinguished and publicly recognised members of the University community.

Responsibilities of Facilities Management

(21) The Chief Financial Officer (or delegate) is responsible for ensuring that all flags displayed on each campus are in good order and condition at all times and are replaced from divisional funds as required. Faculties and other areas are responsible for maintaining, from their own funds, interior flags in their own areas.

(22) The Facilities Management must maintain a complete set of flags at each main entrance to a campus (where provided). The University's policy is to have a stand of five flag poles at each main entrance to each campus of the University. Other flag poles on a campus may have flags raised as required.

(23) The Chief Financial Officer (or delegate) is responsible for designating officers on each campus as contact points for communications from the University Secretary in relation to the raising and lowering of flags as required. The University Secretary will provide sufficient notice, where possible, to the nominated contact person to allow for the raising or lowering of flags to occur without major disruption to ordinary work requirements.

Responsibilities of University Secretary

(24) The University Secretary is the custodian of the University flag. The University Secretary will maintain an official supply of University flags which may be ordered by University officers for display.

(25) To reduce cost and to ensure availability of the broadest range of flags for ceremonial purposes, the University Secretary will maintain a flag bank of international and other flags which may be borrowed by other areas of the University for temporary display during official visits or other events. The University Secretary will maintain a list of available flags and the procedures for borrowing the flags.

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Section 5 - Guidelines and other documents

(26) Protocols schedule - Flags