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September 11 Australian flag

At a glance

  • Australian flag, 120 x 178cm
  • Retrieved from World Trade Center ruins
  • A reminder of tragic events on 11 September 2001
Top left section of an Australian flag with stains, tears and burns. The Union Jack is visible, along with the large seven-pointed star. The section bearing the Southern Cross is quite crumpled.
Australian flag recovered from the ruins of the World Trade Center following the terrorism attack of 2001. Photo: George Serras.

Flag excavated from World Trade Center ruins

An Australian flag retrieved from the ruins of the World Trade Center is a graphic reminder of a tragedy which claimed the lives of more than 2600 people.

The flag was one of thousands of objects excavated from the site following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.

Intact but soiled, crumpled and with minor tears, the 120 by 178 centimetre flag was discovered in the basement of World Trade Center Three.

The flag is believed to have been used for ceremonial purposes in the 22-storey Marriott Hotel which was destroyed by falling debris from the collapse of the Twin Towers.

New York Police Department Emergency Services Unit Detective Patrick McGee presented the flag to Australia's Consul General Ken Allen in a private ceremony in August 2004. It was then returned to Australia for conservation at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

Two Museum staff members moving an Australian flag, retrieved from the ruins of the World Trade Center, into a display case.
Registration's Patrick Baum and Conservation's Antonia Ross prepare to move an Australian flag, retrieved from the ruins of the World Trade Center, into a display case in the Museum's Hall. Photo: Lannon Harley.

National Historical Collection

The flag is now part of the National Historical Collection and will be preserved as a reminder of the tragic events of September 2001.

The Museum also holds a collection of personal objects relating to the life and death of Yvonne Kennedy, who died at the Pentagon. Yvonne was one of 10 Australians among those who died in the terrorist attack, which marked the beginning of the 'war on terror'.

Australia joined the United States and its allies to contribute forces to the invasion of Afghanistan and later Iraq.

The flag is on show in the Museum's Journeys gallery, along with material from the Yvonne E Kennedy collection.

More

Collection database record

Yvonne Kennedy collection highlight