The winning design was submitted in 1970 by a 17-year-old high school student named Susan Huhume and formally adopted the following year. It is quite similar to a short-lived pattern that the Australian administration attempted to introduce prior to the contest, in that it contains a Southern Cross and a flying “Kumul” bird of paradise.
However, she altered it from being a vertical triband to a diagonal bicolor. Huhume also changed the color scheme to red and black with a yellow bird, with the red and yellow said to represent PNG’s tropical flowers and the white stars standing for the lime with which natives enjoy chewing betel nut. Red and black are also traditional colors among many local tribes and were used in the flag of the German Empire, which originally colonized the territory.