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Australia WWI Service Flag

Last modified: 2016-02-27 by ian macdonald
Keywords: australia | service flag |
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[Service flag] image by Dave Martucci, 26 June 2010

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Description of the flag

Along with the United States and Canada, Australia also had a special flag to indicate service with the military in World War I. Introduced in 1918 for "Violet Day" and used at least until Violet Day 1923, it was the Australian Flag with a white border all around, inscribed in gold letters at the top "FOR KING AND COUNTRY". At the center of the Union Jack in the Australian Flag was a depiction of the French Legion of Honour medal. Red "seals" or "wafers" in numbers corresponding to the number of men or women in the service were to be placed on the white border, but I have never seen an image of these symbols.

The flag is known from news accounts. See for example "The Sydney Morning Herald", Tuesday 4 June 1918, page 6 ( for a description or Wednesday 27 July 1921, page 12 ( for an illustration and from a poster that can be found online at the National Library of Australia (Image ref. nla.pic-an14106579-v). The poster says it is the "Australian War Service House Flag" and that it is the "Officially Authorized Registered Design No. 2691", apparently registered to the Centre for Soldiers' Wives and Mothers, Sydney.

According to "The Sydney Morning Herald", Thursday 21 July 1921, page 6 ( the flag was designed by "Mr. Carter of Messr's. John Sands and Co." and was a "symbol of great historic Interest, because of its close link with the war."
Dave Martucci, 26 June 2010