Police flags of Australia and New Zealand


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From 2007 to 2009, each back cover of the APJ contained a feature on the flags used by the police agencies of Australia, New Zealand, and some other organisations.

The below images and text are extracted from those articles.

Australian Federal Police (AFP)

First adopted in 1981, the AFP’s flag is predominantly black (hoist and fly) with its centre third being a white vertical panel containing the agency’s badge.

On all four edges of the flag is a narrow black and white chequer (Sillitoe’s Tartan), commonly used by police forces around the world.

New South Wales Police Force

The flag was officially presented in 1981 by the Governor of NSW. Its design was derived from the original blue and white pennants, which have been attached to the NSW Mounted Police lances since 1957. 

The flag is white and sky blue (the blue being the official colour of the State). The Force’s Crest is depicted in the centre of the flag.

Since 1981, minor variations have been made to the design, including the colour of the Wedge-tailed Eagle and the official name of the organisation. 

New Zealand Police

The predominant colour in the flag is Royal Blue. 

The national flag is located in the canton.  It consists of the Union Jack and Southern Cross, reflecting the nation’s history and its location in the Southern Hemisphere.

The seal of the New Zealand Police is featured in the fly.  It consists of the silver-grey coloured letters “NZP” (for the New Zealand Police) surrounded by silver ferns.  The Queen’s Crown sits above the letters and ferns. 

Northern Territory Police

At the hoist is a black panel with the Southern Cross. The fly panel is red ochre in colour and contains the emblem of the NT Police; a kangaroo (symbolising the outback), surrounded by a laurel wreath featuring the NT’s floral emblem (Sturt Desert Rose), all beneath St Edward’s Crown (symbolising royal links).  The NT Police’s motto of ‘to serve and protect’ is also shown. 

This flag was first formally flown at the dedication ceremony for the National Police Memorial, Canberra, on 29 September 2006.

Queensland Police

First introduced in 1982, the flag was initially shaped in a swallow tail pattern of the type traditionally attached to mounted police lances, and affixed to police motorcycles in official parades.

The current flag, rectangular in shape, incorporates the revised emblem and motto With Honour We Serve. The two tone blue background is in keeping with the service’s uniform.

South Australia Police

The flag was authorised by State Cabinet in 1981. The then Police Commissioner, Laurence Draper AO QPM, highlighted the importance of the organisation having its own colours at ceremonial events. The design is a modified version of the State Flag.

The emblem was updated in the mid-1990’s. It consists of the Australian Piping Shrike standing on a gum tree staff.  The Monarch’s crown represents the embodiment of the state’s law and constitutional authority. Golden wattle flanks the emblem.

Tasmania Police

This flag was introduced in 2008. It depicts the striking Tasmania Police badge against a mid-blue background with the Sillitoe Tartan bordering on the left  of the hoist. 

The current Tasmania Police badge, introduced in 1978, is well recognised and is also displayed on the cap and tunics of all uniformed members.

Victoria Police

Soon after his January 1955 appointment as Chief Commissioner, Major-General Selwyn Porter designed what he called a ‘House Flag’. The design of the British Blue Ensign and departmental badge was to represent the organisation’s loyalty to the Government, the Crown, a commitment to the Christian ethic, and to symbolise police service to the community. 

 The flag formally became known as the Police Ensign in 1974 after the dedication of the chapel at the Glen Waverley Police Academy.

Western Australia Police Service

The Western Australia Police Service flag was adopted in September 2005. It was designed by high school student Anne Cobai, who won a state-wide competition.

The swan is native to Western Australia and is known to vigorously defend its territory.

The flag displays the swan with outstretched wings, symbolising freedom from fear. The agency’s badge and the Sillitoe Tartan are also represented.

Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Forum

The logo at the centre of the flag was first adopted by the then South Pacific Chiefs of Police Conference (SPCPC) in the 1980s.

The ‘P’ represents policing, the stars the Southern Cross, and the blue semi-circles signify waves that flow across the Pacific Ocean.

More details about the PICP can be found at www.picp.org

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