Bernard Namok SeniorPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Huth

The monument erected over the gravesite commemorates Bernard Namok Senior who designed the Torres Strait Island Flag. The monument was unveiled on the flag's 22nd anniversary.

To honour the contribution that Bernard Namok Snr, creator of the Torres Strait flag, did for his people, a memorial was unveiled at Thursday Island Cemetery and a plaque at Front Beach, May 29th, 2014, 22 years after it was recognised by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in June 1992. Tragically Bernard Namok Snr. passed away a year later.

It was not until July 14, 1995, that the Australian Government granted it ‘Flag of Australia’ status, under the Flags Act 1953.



Address:Aplin Road, Thursday Island Cemetery, Thursday Island, 4875
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -10.576448
Long: 142.217216
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 29th May, 2014
Front Inscription

With Respect We Remember

Designer Of The Torres Strait Flag


1.   The two green lines represent the mainlands of 
       Australia and Papua New Guinea;
2.   The blue between these two continents is the blue of 
            the Torres Strait waters;
3.   The black lines represent the people of the Torres Strait;
4.   The one symbol I feel can identify
       any islander anywhere is the Dhari (headdress);
5.   The five points of the Star are our Island groups: 
       the Western, Eastern, Central, Port Kennedy and (N.P.A.) Mainland. 
The star is also used in the navigation and important 
      for the seafaring people of the Torres Strait.
6.   White represents peace.

"Ladies, gentlemen, boys and girls, on behalf of myself and my family, I would like to thank all the people responsible for accepting my flag design as the flag that will identify Torres Strait Islanders anwhere and everywhere.
"These people who in time will accept the flag, I also wander esso you pla. In conclusion another big thank you goes to Mr Ettie Pau, the inspiration behind me in designing the flag and entering the competition.  He has shared many times with me the importance of the past and what we the Torres Strait Islanders really need in the future.  One of which I know he must be very proud to be able to witness today and also be part of this historic event in the launching of our very own identity.

Speech Given By : Late Mr Bernard Namok Snr.  Raising Of The Flag: Late Mr. Ettie Pau (O.A.M.)
Event : 1992 Torres Strait Cultural Festival


Left Side Inscription

* Born and raised on Thursday Island
* Attended Thursday Island High School 1974 - 1976
* Gained Certificate of Commercial & Fundamentals Torres Strait TAFE  1992
* Islanders Board of Industries 1984 - 1992
* Torres Strait Co-operative Society Board of Directors 1992
* Torres Strait Corporation of Arts & Literature Production Committee Member 1992
*  Delegate Torres Eels / Suburbs Rats 1992
* Won competition for design of the Torres Strait Flag 1992

Right Side Inscription

* The Torres Strait Islander Flag was created as a symbol for unity and identity for Torres Strait Islander people
* It was the winning entry from a design competition held as part of a Cultural Revival Workshop, organised by The 
   Islands Co-ordinating Council in January 1992
* The flag was adopted in May 1992 and first flown during the Torres Strait Cultural Festival Thursday Island
* In June 1992 it was recognised by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) and given equal
   prominence with the Aboriginal flag 
* In July 1995, it was recognised by the Australian Government as an official Flag of Australia under the Flags Act 1953


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au