The retention of the flag with the Union Jack in the corner, and carrying a star to represent each of the six States of Australia, has always been strongly supported by the various RSL Branches in Australia.
In March 1972 the meeting resolved, after reading correspondence concerning the changing of the National Flag, to write to the member of Parliament, Mr. Webb, that this Sub-branch strongly supported the Federal Executive in agreeing that the present flag retained as the symbol of Australian solidarity.
It is noted that in September 1979 the Federal Member, Mr. Viner, a Liberal, donated a Flag to the Sub-branch. It was subsequently presented to the North Beach Sportsmen’s Club President, Mal Dempsey, during April 1980. At the following June meeting, Mr. Peter Wells addressed the meeting and presented another Australian Flag of similar design as described above.
In September 1983 there were negotiations to erect a flag pole at the Sports Club. At the same meeting, it was decided to purchase 150 flag stickers. At the November 1983 meeting, Mr. Jenkins suggested that all members of the RSL fly the current Australian Flag in their front yards to show RSL strength. The matter of the flag was to be discussed at the next State congress. The matter of the flag appears to have been provoked by correspondence stating that the Federal Government had terminated financial assistance to. School Cadets.
In September 1984 there was further correspondence regarding a petition concerning the Australian Flag. During 1984 two radio stations in Western Australia – 6PR and 6KG – permitted two of their announcers to conduct talk back sessions with members of the public, the remarks being considered by members to be derogatory to the retention of the Flag. A new Flag representing Australia as an independent nation was advocated. The members strongly protested as recorded in the section “Resolutions”.
Alf Price, a member, announced that Mr. Ron Edwards, a Federal Member of Parliament, would be at the Sports Club at 1.15 pm on Saturday 13th April 1985. He would present the National Flag, a tape of the National Anthem and an updated photo of the Queen to the Sportsmen’s Club. All members of the Sub-branch were urged to attend.
It does appear that a substantial element in the Labour Party wants to change the Flag, containing the Union Jack in the corner, to a new design and called ‘The Australian Flag’ as a first step to making Australia a Republic. One wonders if Long Service Leave and such other privileges that do not exist in other republics will disappear too.