Used: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Empire Day Flag used in Melbourne, Victoria. Also known as Flag Day, Empire Day was celebrated in March and saw the buildings and streets decorated with flags. Empire Day was observed in Victorian state schools from 1905 with a program of addresses, pageants and patriotic songs, with children swearing allegiance to King and Empire. The Empire Day Movement raised money for various charities by selling badges, cards, flags and buttons. People were also often encouraged to buy Australian-made products or goods of Empire origin. Popular observance of Empire Day declined in the postwar period, and in 1958 it was renamed Commonwealth Day.

Empire Day was first introduced in 1905 to promote loyalty among the dominion countries of the British Empire. Celebrated on 24 May, Queen Victoria's birthday, it was directed especially at school children. Teachers were encouraged to promote special steps to develop a feeling of pride in the British Empire and the achievements of the British race. Often a morning of short addresses, recitations and patriotic songs such as 'Rule Britannia' and 'Advance Australia' was followed by a half-day holiday to mark the celebration of Australia's strong ties to the British Empire.

Physical Description

British flag. The flag consists of a rectangular piece of canvas decorated with the British flag design. Below the design there is a row of white text on a red background. Flag is attached to a stick.

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