This policy outlines the requirements relating to flagpoles and flag flying in schools and for celebrating Australia's cultural diversity and Australian citizenship.
- There are a range of requirements relating to the installation of flagpoles in schools, including requirements relating to size, procurement and location – refer to the Flagpoles chapter of the Guidance tab for more information.
- Schools must fly the Australian National Flag on days when patriotic ceremonies are conducted and on national flag days (if the school is open).
- Schools may also fly the Australian National Flag during school hours.
- Schools are encouraged to fly the Victorian State Flag, Aboriginal Flag and/or Torres Strait Islander Flag, alongside the Australian Flag if they have additional flag poles, noting order of precedence protocols – refer to the Flying flags chapter of the Guidance tab for more information.
- Schools must conduct any ceremony acknowledging and celebrating the role of students as citizens of Australia, in a manner that is consistent with the Victorian Public Sector Values and inclusive of all students.
- Schools must not compel students to recite a pledge or declaration or take part in a patriotic ceremony if the student or parents or carers object based on religious, cultural, philosophical or other beliefs.
Flagpoles and flag flying
All schools should have at least 3 flagpoles located at the entrance, where possible, or in other areas where the school community may assemble.
Except as stated elsewhere in this policy, or on other special occasions advised by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, flags are only to be flown during normal working hours.
It is recommended that each school register subscribes to receive state flag notifications from the Department of Premier and Cabinet. To subscribe, visit Flag notifications and .
Refer to the Flying flags chapter for more information about the protocols for flying the Australian National Flag and other flags.
Refer to the Flagpoles chapter for more information about installing and upgrading flagpoles.
Ceremonies in relation to being an Australian citizen (patriotic ceremonies)
When considering holding any ceremonies celebrating Australian citizenship, or cultural diversity, schools must:
- consider the diversity of cultures and beliefs in the school community
- ensure that all students can participate
- ensure that patriotic ceremonies are conducted in a manner that is consistent with the Code of conduct for directors of Victorian public , the Victorian Public Sector and the school’s own Inclusion and Diversity Policy.
Patriotic ceremonies may include:
- singing the Australian National Anthem, Advance Australia Fair
- acknowledging the symbolic importance of the Australian National Flag alongside other flags including the:
- Australian Aboriginal Flag
- Torres Strait Islander Flag
- student recital of a declaration, such as:
- an Australian citizenship
- an oath or pledge devised by the school, in consultation with the school council expressing the ideals of citizenship and celebrating cultural diversity.
Schools must not compel students to recite a pledge or declaration or take part in a patriotic ceremony if the student or parents or carers object based on religious, cultural, philosophical or other beliefs.
Any flags used in a patriotic ceremony held at a school must include the Australian National Flag.
Flag flying and patriotic ceremonies
For questions about flag flying and patriotic ceremonies, contact the School Operations and Governance Unit via email@example.com
For information regarding the provision of flagpoles for school buildings, visit the Building Quality Standards Handbook (BQSH) or contact the Victorian School Building Authority: email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1800 896 950.
Reviewed 15 December 2022