Flag of Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Adopted July 1, 1971[1]
Designed by Susan Huhume[2] or Susan Karike[3]
Proportions 3:4[4]

The flag of Papua New Guinea is divided diagonally from upper hoist-side corner; the upper triangle is red with a soaring yellow bird of paradise centred; the lower triangle is black with five, white, five-pointed stars of the Southern Cross constellation centred.[5]


There are five stars interpreting the Southern Cross, on the black backdrop.

Red, Yellow and Black has close association with the country's heritage, while the Bird of Paradise ("Kumul") is the emblem of regional tribal culture. The bird symbolises the emergence of Papua New Guinea as a nation. The Southern Cross represents the ancient connection of Papua New Guinea with other nations of the South Pacific.[3]

Red, white, and black were the colours of the German Empire, which had at one time controlled the island nation. Red and black are also the colours of many islands tribes.[2]

Other national flagsEdit


In the 20th century the two territories finally linked in Papua New Guinea were administered by the Germans, British, and Australia. In 1962 a local flag incorporated a bird-of-paradise. That original design, used by a sports team, was green and featured a naturalistic bird rendition near the hoist. Later the colonial administration developed a vertical tricolour of blue-yellow-green as a possible future national flag. The Southern Cross appeared in the form of five white stars on the hoist stripe, and a white silhouette bird-of-paradise was represented on the green stripe. The stars were reminiscent of those in the Australian national flag.

Islanders were not enthusiastic about the proposal, but the government received a draft design from a young student, Susan Karike, that found widespread support. The bird-of-paradise and constellation were retained, although the former was yellow instead of white. The flag background was changed radically: two colours, red and black, were chosen because they are featured extensively in local art and clothing. The diagonal division gave better balance to the design and made the flag unique. The national parliament recognized the flag on March 11, 1971, and its usage was extended to ships registered in Papua New Guinea when the country became independent on September 16, 1975.[3]


  1. Papua New Guinea. Empassy of Papua New Guinea to the Americas
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Papua New Guinea Flag at
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Papua New Guinea, flag of. (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 11, 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online
  4. Papua New Guinea at World Flag Database
  5. Flag of Papua New Guinea at CIA World Factbook
Australia AustraliaFiji FijiIndonesia IndonesiaKiribati Kiribati
Marshall Islands Marshall IslandsMicronesia MicronesiaNauru NauruNew Zealand New Zealand
Palau PalauPapua New Guinea Papua New GuineaSamoa SamoaSolomon Islands Solomon Islands
Timor-Leste Timor-LesteTonga TongaTuvalu TuvaluVanuatu Vanuatu

Dependencies and other territories

Christmas Island Christmas Island (Australia)Niue Niue (New Zealand)

[1] [2]

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