Uniforms, Insignia, Medals & Flags
The police officer’s uniform is a form of non-verbal communication. When an officer arrives on scene, his or her uniform is meant to grab your attention, command respect and demonstrate consistency, strength and competence.
Over the years, the Northern Territory police uniform has continued to evolve to suit the needs of the times.
Uniforms and Insignia
Following repeated requests from members to review the uniform a ballot was taken that resulted in members voting to change the uniform cut, material and colour. The change began in 2011.
The new uniform is a dark blue as depicted below – the shoulder patch shown with blue edging was a trial only and was not adopted due to the historical links with the orange and green colour patch of the NAOU.
The dedication and outstanding service of NT Police members and staff is regularly recognised through the year by the presentation of a range of awards and medals. These include the Australian Police Medal, for distinguished service and various years of service medals, clasps and bars. An honour roll is set out below for gallantry awards and descriptions of each medal set out underneath.
History of the Northern Territory Police flag
The Northern Territory Police flag was a long time in the making, with much consideration given to a range of designs and proposals before the official flag was adopted in 1989.
There are records showing designs being called for at different times from 1975, but it was not until 1989 that a simple design was accepted. The flag comprised a silver Police emblem separated by royal blue and sky blue (50/50).
The NT Police emblem incorporates an upright kangaroo, symbolising the Australian Outback, surrounded by a laurel wreath featuring the Territory’s floral emblem, Sturt Desert Rose; and standing beneath St Edward's Crown, the crown used at coronations, symbolising Commonwealth links. Below this a scroll displays the police motto "to serve and protect, and the words ‘Northern Territory Police’ are above.
The overall flag design did not reflect the Territory’s unique colours, nor did it share common design or linkage to the flags of other two elements of the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services (NTPFES).
In 2006 a review led to a change in the flag, coinciding with the dedication of the National Police Memorial in Canberra.
The new NT Police flag incorporates the three official Territory colours – black, white and ochre – and is divided vertically into two panels. At the hoist is a black panel one third the width of the flag, bearing five white stars in the constellation of the Southern Cross. The stars have eight, seven, seven, six and five points, as in the Victorian flag.
The fly panel is a colour described as red ochre and contains at its centre the emblem of the Northern Territory Police Force as outlined above.
The constellation of the Southern Cross is a significant navigational feature of the southern hemisphere, strongly places Australia geographically and has been associated with the continent since its earliest days. It is also well known feature of other Australian flags including the Australian National Flag.
The ochre of the flag is the official colour of the Northern Territory and symbolises the fact that the Northern Territory Police Force is inherently linked to, and is an integral part of, the Northern Territory community.
The new flag is also consistent with those of the NT Fire and Rescue Service and NT Emergency Service – the other two arms of the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services, or Tri-Service as it is known.
The original flag in the new design was blessed at a ceremony in Darwin in September 2006 before being taken to Canberra, where it was presented by the NT Commissioner of Police to fly as part of the dedication ceremony for the National Police Memorial on 29 September 2006.
The original flag has now been retrieved and has formed part of the collection of the NT Police Museum and Historical Society.
(Compiled by Director,Media & Corporate Communications, Sandra Mitchell, in consultation with Superintendents David Pryce and Anne-Marie Murphy, February 2007. Reference File No. 90/2117)