Over the years, the badge has changed as the League has evolved. From 1915 to 1919, there were badges for state-based associations, but in 1916 a national badge appeared and gradually replaced these.
The badge worn by all members of the Returned & Services League of Australia, is a symbol of readiness at all times to render service to country and to former comrades. It is a time-honoured emblem – one that has been worn with a deep sense of pride by the most revered in our land and one that glorifies the coats of all privileged to wear it.
No wealth or influence can purchase the badge which may be worn only by those who have served their country. The badge is in the form of a shield and the shield is a protection to the wearer. In the badge the red represents the blood ties of war that exist between comrades. White stands for the purity of the motives in joining the league – to render service without thought of personal gain or ambition. The blue indicates a willingness to render that service to a comrade anywhere under the blue sky – wherever he may be. The wattle is symbolic of Australia. The leek, rose, thistle and shamrock are symbolic of, and represent the link with Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland respectively.
Depicted in the centre of the badge, and encircled by the name of the organisation, are a sailor, soldier, airman and servicewoman marching together with their arms linked in friendship. This is to show that within the circle of the League, all Services and all ranks march together in unity and comradeship.