Australia buys copyright to Aboriginal flag

Australia's government has bought the rights to the Aboriginal flag. This means anyone can now use or fly the flag for free. The flag was owned by its designer Harold Thomas and a clothing company. This meant that anyone who used the flag had to get copyright permission from them. The $20-million deal to take ownership of the flag's copyright means the public can use it freely. Nova Peris, a former Aboriginal politician, led the Free the Flag campaign. She was overjoyed that the government bought the Aboriginal flag. She said: "The flag represents 50,000 years of history and it's a way of unifying...this country." She added: "It's a magical day for all Australians."

Indigenous artist Harold Thomas created the flag in 1971. He wanted all of Australia's indigenous people to have their own flag. His flag was originally used as a protest for indigenous rights. However, it soon became widely used and became an official national flag of Australia in 1995. It now flies on government buildings. A government spokesperson said: "Over the last 50 years, we made Harold Thomas' artwork our own. We marched under the Aboriginal flag, stood behind it, and flew it high as a point of pride." He added: "In reaching this agreement to solve the copyright issues, all Australians can freely display and use the flag to celebrate indigenous culture."