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Exhibitions in the Northern Territory and South Australia have celebrated the first flying of the Aboriginal flag – 50 years ago.

Protesters at a land rights rally held at Tarntanyangga or Victoria Square in Adelaide in 1971 were the first to fly the Aboriginal flag.

“I’ve always had copyright – proven. This is the case for any artist who creates an image that is their own self-manifestation, under common-law rights, and world rights, you own copyright. That’s the facts.”

In this exclusive interview with flag designer, Luritja man Harold Thomas talks about the controversy surrounding the copyright ownership of the flag, and dismisses his critics.