Bernard Namok SeniorPrint Page Print this page

Bernard Namok Senior
Bernard Namok Senior

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 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

What The Design Stands For.

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.)
      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 &  
   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 
    Committee Member 
*  Delegate Torres 
    Eels / Suburbs Rats 
* Won competition
   for Design of the 
  Torres Strait Flag 

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
* 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
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design