Australia 2021 $2 50th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Flag Coloured Al-Br Uncirculated Coin Pack

  • 50th Anniversary of the raising of the Aboriginal Flag
  • Aboriginal Flag Design by artist Harold Thomas
  • Australian legal tender – spans 20.50mm in diameter
  • Struck by the Royal Australian Mint
  • Presented in an credit card-style pack

The Aboriginal flag was designed and created in 1971 by artist Harold Thomas, a Luritja man from central Australia and a member of the Stolen Generations. It was created as a symbol of unity and national identity for Aboriginal people during the land rights movement of the early 1970s. The bright colours of the Aboriginal flag are no coincidence. Harold Thomas used them deliberately "to be eye-catching in land rights protests". Yellow represents the sun (giver of life) and yellow ochre. Red represents the red earth (the relationship to the land) and the red ochre used in Red has sometimes been considered to represent the blood Aboriginal people shed during the wars with white settlers.

Thomas originally considered black to be at the bottom but then decided to revert the intuitive order: "I wanted to make it unsettling. In normal circumstances you'd have the darker colour at the bottom and the lighter colour on top. To give a shock to the viewer to have it on top had a dual purpose, [one] was to unsettle. The other factor why I had it on top was the Aboriginal people walk on top of the land."


Aboriginal activist Gary Foley took the flag to the east coast of Australia where it was promoted and eventually recognised as the official flag of Australia's First Peoples. Cathy Freeman brought the flag to the international stage during her victory lap after winning the 200m at the 1994 Commonwealth Games (and again after winning the 400m at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney).

The Aboriginal flag was first displayed on 12 July 1971 on National Aborigines Day, at Victoria Square in Adelaide. It was also used at the Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972.

In June 1995, the Australian Government proclaimed the Aboriginal flag as an official 'Flag of Australia' under section 5 of the Flags Act 1953.  Two years later Harold Thomas was recognised as the author of the artistic work under the Copyright Act 1968.

Due to administrative oversight the proclamation of 1995 was not lodged in accordance with the requirements to ensure it remained in force, and it expired on 1 January 2008. As a result the Governor‑General proclaimed the Aboriginal Flag "as the flag of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia and a flag of significance to the Australian nation generally" for the second time on 25 January 2008. 

After the 30th anniversary of the Aboriginal flag, the council of the City of Adelaide recommended to permanently fly the Aboriginal flag in Victoria Square and at the front of the town hall. This marked the time many more cities began to also fly the Aboriginal flag next to the national flag on official buildings.

Many Australians are now reconsidering the national Australian flag and want to merge it with the Aboriginal flag, for example by replacing the Union Jack.