A Ballarat-based Indigenous artist believes the transferring of rights to the Aboriginal flag into public hands will only help spur on movement it was inspired by.
On Monday, the federal government completed a $20 million deal with the flag's creator, Luritja artist Harold Thomas, to permanently acquire the copyright for the Aboriginal flag.
Under the deal, the flag will now be allowed to be used on clothing, websites, paintings and other artworks without having to ask for permission or pay a fee.
Previously, community and sporting organisations using the flag had received cease-and-desist letters from former copyright holder WAM Clothing after the brand was granted exclusive use in 2018.
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Ballarat-based Gunditjmara artist Peter Clarke said he was 'overwhelmingly happy' following the decision.
"In Aboriginal culture, I tell something to my child to the kids or to anybody about the culture itself, I don't own that, I'm passing that onwards to the mob," he said.
"As for the flag itself, when Harold Thomas painted that flag, he had culture in mind and that culture was raised on a stick and marched down the streets. He didn't hide it, he promoted it.
"It was like a pebble that created a wave of movement, right across the nation and that flag has become a symbol of hope and ownership and I guess, empowerment, a sense of belonging."
Mr Clarke has previously used the Aboriginal flag as inspiration for his own artwork, combining the ensign with the Eureka flag in a piece that is now prominently displayed inside Ballarat Trades Hall.
Mr Clarke said he hoped to see the flag more widely used right across the country.
"It's great news. It'd be good to see it on planes, going across overseas, rather than just the Australian flag," he said.
"That flag doesn't speak in letters, it just speaks in colours and kids, children, different nationalities, they see that and they know there are meanings behind that and those meanings are deep because as far as I'm concerned, in the community, people still see Australia as a crime scene.
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"That flag itself and where it is now, it still holds that and the pole that holds that digs deep into the earth and pretty much symbolises all that past history and future. The fact that mainstream Australia, you, your mother, your father and your friends, and all that can use that, paint that, I am not fussed by that at all."
Mr Clarke said the deal would ensure the flag would be able to be passed down to future generations.
"If Harold Thomas is willing to go before the media and stand as a proud Aboriginal man and artist and give permission to say that this flag itself is the people's flag, I don't think he was referring to just one particular Indigenous group, I think he's talking to a lot of Indigenous groups about this flag and he's passed that onto the mob."
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