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Western Australia Police (Australia)

Last modified: 2014-04-24 by jonathan dixon
Keywords: western australia police | police | swan (black) | wa police | wreath (gold) | crown | kangaroo | kangaroo paw |
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Western Australia Police

"The Western Australia Police is responsible for policing the largest single police jurisdiction in the world, an area covering 2.5 million square kilometres. Its 6,318 employees include 4,993 sworn police officers providing services to a population of 1.9 million, through a structure comprising three regions, 14 districts and 162 police stations."
Source: Western Australia Police web site
Colin Dobson, 6 January 2006

Description of the flag

The flag of the Western Australia Police is shown on a photo at the Carine High School site.

There it is stated that the New State-Wide Police Flag is based on a winning entry submitted by Carine Senior High School student Anne Cobai (Year 12) to a 2005 competition to design a new police flag. The flag was flown for the first time at Carine Senior High School.


The new Western Australia Police flag was first flown during Police Week, September 2005. It is a contemporary design that replaces the previous WA Police flag which was in use for approximately 35 years. It displays an etched version of the WA Police logo in white, surmounted over a swan in defensive posture, in police blue, upon a white field. The fly of the flag shows the Sillitoe Tartan as a graduated vertical band. The Black Swan is a fauna emblem of the State of Western Australia and has consistently been an image on Police regalia and motifs since 1870. The swan's outstretched wings represent freedom from fear and its posture a symbol of all police officers' obligation to protect Western Australians. The Sillitoe Tartan is a recognised international symbol of policing."

Valentin Poposki, 4 January 2006

The new flag competition guidelines say: "The police flag is flown at police stations throughout WA as well as most police buildings. It can also be used at police funerals where it is draped over the coffins of police officers who have died in the line of duty."

The competition, with the aim of finding "a new contemporary design that reflects WA policing today", was open to students in years 10-12 in any Western Australian schools, particularly targetting art and design students. There was a prize consisting of art supplies vouchers worth $250 for the student and $750 for their school. Entries were shortlisted by a panel of senior police employees and the winning design chosen by the Commissioner of Police, judging on the basis of creativity and meeting the following essential design features:

  • The police insignia (badge). This can be downloaded from the competition webpage.
  • The design must, in some way, represent policing in WA. Entrants must explain the significance of their design. For example, the boxing kangaroo on the green and gold Australian flag represents an animal unique to Australia, while the boxing gloves could symbolise our sporting prowess and tough attitude . In your design, you may choose a colour to represent the WA landscape or a symbol to represent a policing or community theme.

The document includes a brief list of flag terminology for use in describing the flag (but does not say anything about good flag design).

The launch of the new flag on 20 September 2005 at the Police Academy was reported in the Police newsletter Newsbeat (found here). The article mentions that on the same day there was a laying-up ceremony of the police banner.

The badge, at is appears in monochrome white on blue on the new flag, has as its central element a disk containing the coat of arms of the Western Australia Police. The shield shows a black swan (Cygnus atratus, the state bird emblem) on blue water). The bearers are two kangaroos. Above each kangaroo is what seems to be a sprig of Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii, the state floral emblem). The disk is superimposed on a five pointed star, one point downwards, which is itself superimposed on a wreath. At the top and bottom of the wreath are two ribbons bearing the inscriptions "WA" and "POLICE" respectively, and above the top ribbon is a crown. In other depiction of the badge, there is a scroll beneath the shield. In the original arms, the inscription on the scroll is a motto, on the current shoulder flashes, it is the words "Western Australia", but the scroll itself appears to be absent from the flag.
Jonathan Dixon, 5 January 2006

The new flag bears a resemblance to the logo of the Western Australia Police Union.

In my opinion, the images concerned look very much as if they have been modified, that the scroll has been "blurred" out on the photographs of the flag which appear in the WAPOL newsletter, Newsbeat, so as to obliterate the scroll altogether.
Colin Dobson, 6 January 2006

The flag is displayed on page 109 of the Western Australia Police Ceremonial and Protocol Manual which [was] available for download at
Herman FMY, 24 February 2007

Former flag

The new flag competition guidelines include a picture of the old flag, which is the Western Australian state flag, with the initials W.A above and the word POLICE below the badge in white, slightly curved around the swan badge. The image appears to show the W.A in a sans serif font and the POLICE in a serif font.
Jonathan Dixon, 5 January 2006

Western Australia Police Banner

The Western Australia Police Ceremonial and Protocol Manual by the Western Australia Police [was] available for download at

Of vexillological interest would be Chapter 9, on the Western Australia Police Banner, the ceremonial flag of the service. The banner is shown on page 93.

The banner was used at the National Police Memorial ceremony, and consists of a badge on a plain field.
Herman FMY, 24-26 February 2007

The banner is visible in a photo also reported by Herman, (no 5 by Terry Browne in the previously online collection of photos from the National Police Memorial. It is mid-blue with a gold fringe and the WA Police badge in the centre. The badge features a white faceted five-pointed star point donwards on a golden wreath. On blue ribbons is the white lettering "WA" above the star and "POLICE" below the star. Over the star is a blue disc containing two kangaroos in white supporting the shield of the state arms (a black swan on water). Around them are a ribbon with a motto (below) and two sprigs of Red-and-Green Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii), as in the crest of the state arms (upper right and left). At the top of the badge is a (St Edward's?) crown. The banner is carried with cord and tassles (photo 32 by Mike Combe, same collection).
Jonathan Dixon, 1 October 2008

Police lance pennon

What are the flags in the photo at
Jan Mertens, 14 Sep 2003

They are the Western Australian Police lance pennon. It is yellow with a black swan in a black ring.
Miles Li, 15 Sep 2003

Having looked at the National Police Memorial photos website, I can now summarize the patterns of lance pennons used by mounted police in each Australian state and territory:
Western Australia: yellow, with a modified State badge (1/2 the pennon width) at the centre (centred 1/3 the pennon length) (a yellow disc within a black ring, bearing a black swan with red beak and red leg facing the hoist, swimming on three straight black waves). Proportions 2:3; swallowtail 1/3 the pennon length.
Miles Li, 13 March 2007