If you are Australian or living in Australia, you probably celebrate Anzac Day. It comes around every April 25th. However, as time moves on, the memory of the creation of Anzac Day and the reason for its existence are starting to fade. The day is a solemn occasion commemorating a specific event in history and honouring those who carry on its legacy. Specifically, it honours the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) that fought the Gallipoli Campaign during World War I.
The Gallipoli Campaign
During World War I, Australia and New Zealand were allied with the Allied Powers against the Central Powers. Of the Central Powers, the Ottoman Empire looked like the ones who could be most quickly knocked out of the war. So in 1915, ANZAC and other soldiers attacked Gallipoli on the Black Sea. They wanted to provide the Allied Powers with a route to the Black Sea. That would allow them to move swiftly on Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which is now called Istanbul and serves as the capital of Turkey.
They met fiercer resistance there than expected, especially from an Ottoman commander who came to be known as Ataturk. The quick strike dragged on for eight months. Roughly 11,000 ANZAC soldiers died, and the Ottomans were not pushed out of the war. However, Australia and New Zealand honours their sacrifice every year during Anzac Day.
Anzac Day is a celebration that involves the flying of flags, laying of wreaths, and displays of patriotism.
Displays of Patriotism
Nothing is more patriotic than a nation’s flag, for the flag represents the nation and its people. That is why Allan Pidgeon in Brisbane is working so hard to find the original flag of Australia. It was sewn together in 1901 and flown for an unknown amount of time. It was then taken down and thought to be placed in a museum. However, when museum curators searched for it, they couldn’t find it.
It’s very likely that the flag was given to a specific person for some reason. If it was given to a specific person, it is possible that that person’s descendants still have it.
When ANZAC attacked Gallipoli in 1915, they were representing their nations. Over 100 years later, no one from the Gallipoli Campaign remains. The last surviving veteran, Alec Campbell, died in 2002. Now, they have to be honoured with memories and with displays. Finding the original flag of Australia, the one that was the first symbol to represent the nation they fought for, would be an incredible way to honour them.
Other Patriotic Days
Anzac Day is not the only day that would be enhanced by the presence of the first flag of Australia. Obviously, Flag Day would also be enhanced by its presence. The flag likely still exists and the search for it continues. It is a piece of Australia’s history, and keeping that alive on days of remembrance is very important.
Spreading the word about the missing flag is a patriotic act in and of itself. It is a great way to assist the search.