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Citizens appalled at RSLWA’s decision to ban Aboriginal Flag on Anzac Day

The RSLWA has banned the Aboriginal flag and Welcome To Country ceremonies from all Remembrance Day and Anzac Day services under a new policy.

Last year’s Anzac dawn service in Fremantle saw Aboriginal elder Professor Len Collard read out the Ode of Remembrance in Noongar language, causing the development of the new policy.

From now, all content (except the New Zealand anthem) must be presented in English. RSLWA has banned the Aboriginal flag and only the Australian, New Zealand, and WA flags are allowed to be flown.

Members of the RSL weren’t happy, complaining that the reading was inappropriate for an Anzac Day service.

The new policy states that the RSLWA recognises that, “while Indigenous Australians in the First World War served on equal terms, they were subjected to discrimination after the war in areas such as education, employment and civil liberties.” 

Yet the ban goes ahead as they want their ceremonies to unite, not to divide. Many members of the public have taken to social media and Twitter in rage, questioning RSLWA’s decision.

Chief Executive of RSLWA John McCourt spoke to the ABC about the decision, informing them the board could withdraw its support from the ceremonies if they do not abide by the new policy.

“All the RSL is asking for is two days,” he said.