The official Northern Territory flag was raised for the first time in Darwin as part of a ceremony on July 1st 1978. The occasion marked the grant of self-government to the NT.

Because the Territory had never before had a flag, it was an opportunity to create something unique . A prominent artist from Victoria was appointed for the task by the name of Robert Ingpen. Ingpen also designed several postage stamps.

The design incorporates the official Territory colours of black, white and ochre. The constellation of the Southern Cross in the black panel is the only similarity to the National flag and the Union Jack is conspicuous by its absence.  The stylised white flower  in the centre of the ochre panel represents the Territory’s Floral Emblem, Sturt’s Desert Rose.  The seven pointed star and the seven petals on the flower symbolise the six states and the Norther Territory.

Northern Territory Coat of Arms

Officially granted by the Queen in 1978, the formal description of the arms is: Tenny, representations in the Australian Aboriginal manner of an Arnhem Land rock painting of a woman with stylised internal anatomy between in dexter chief and base two symbolic representations of camp sites joined by journey or path markings in the manner of the Central Australian Aboriginals and in sinister chief and base the like, all Argent; And for the crest: upon a wreath a Wedgetailed Eagle wings elevated grasping with its talons an Australian Aboriginal stone Tjurunga proper; And for the supporters: On either side a Red Kangaroo guardant, that to the dexter holding in the dexter forepaw a Chiragra Spider Conch (Lambis Chiragra) and similarly that to the sinister in its sinister forepaw a True Heart Cockle (Corculum Carelissa); And for the Compartment: Growing from a Compartment comprising a grassy sandy mound Sturt’s Desert Roses as the same as depicted in the illustration.

Northern Territory Floral Emblem

The Sturt’s Desert Rose was discovered by Charles Sturt in 1844-45 and was given it’s botanical name in 1947 by James Hamlyn Willis. The actual plant only has five petals the extra two in the flag are purely symbolic. It is also known as the Darling River Rose, Cotton Rosebush and Australian Cotton. Gossypium Sturtianum is a woody shrub, closely related to cultivated cotton and grows up to 2 metres tall. The flower is quite large with a diameter of 120mm.

Northern Territory Animal Emblem

Red KangarooThe Red Kangaroo is Australia’s largest marsupial, the adult male can reach a height of over two metres. The kangaroo is an iconic Australian animal and the most recognisable. These animals can travel great distances over rugged terrain and live throughout inland Australia.

Northern Territory Bird Emblem

The Wedge-tailed Eagle, also known as the Eaglehawk is the largest bird of prey in Australia. It has a wingspan of up to 2.2 metres. Recognised by its long wedge-shaped tail, and acrobatic prowess the Wedge-tailed Eagle can soar up to 2km above the earth.