The flag of Papua New Guinea was adopted on July 1, 1971. In the hoist, it depicts the Southern Cross; in the fly, a raggiana bird of paradise is silhouetted. The designer of the flag was 15-year-old schoolgirl Susan Huhume who won a nationwide competition for a new flag design in 1971.
Red and black have long been traditional colours of many Papua New Guinean tribes. Black-white-red was the colour of the German Empire's flag, which had colonised New Guinea prior to 1918. The bird of paradise is also found on the national coat-of-arms.
Prior to 1970, Papua New Guinea was known as the Australian Trust Territory of Papua and New Guinea, and its flag for sporting events was the bird of paradise on a green background. In 1970 the Australian Administration tried to introduce another flag, a vertical triband: blue at the hoist with the stars of the Southern Cross (Crux Australis) as in the Australian flag, then yellow, then green with the white bird of paradise in the fly.