Australian symbols (nation and war time)
That section is not exhaustive. It’s only a useful description of some symbols or particular elements of the Anzacs tradition. Some are directly connected to Australia as a nation or to its involvement in the war; others are used in the Souvenir manifestations like by other nations of the Commonwealth.

  • The Slouch Hat
  • The Rising Sun
  • "Digger"
  • The Australian Flag
  • The National Anthem
  • The Poppy
  • The Victoria Cross
  • "In Flanders Fields"
  • "Lest We Forget"
  • "Last Post"

  • The "slouch hat"

    Photo from Rick's Hat Check Room

    It is the name of that famous bush hat with wide brims, one fold back on the left. It could have been draw circum 1885 by Colonel Tom Price, first commander of the Victorian Mounted Rifles.  Originally, it was the right edge which was fold back to the top. It allowed the soldiers to watch straight in the eyes of the officer inspecting them as wanted by army rules. But from 1903, the left brim was fold back in order rifles to be carry on the shoulder. The hat is made of felt, rabbit fur transformed into a strong material. It affords an efficient protection against sun and rain and is still in use in today Australian army with the parade or town uniform - as the kepi in the French army. During World War 2, some British soldiers used to wore it (in Burma) and also the famous general Montgomery.
    The "Rising Sun"

    The Rising Sun - 1904/1949 pattern

    The « Rising Sun » is the Australian army official badge since the end of XIXth century. It is worn on the fold back brim of the Slouch Hat. This image of the sun which rise refers of course to the large British empire of the period that included Australia.
    In 1885, J. M. Gordon, commanding officer of an Australian fort draws a military trophy to symbolise the country ability to defend itself. On a half circle, a set of bayonets figured the ray of the rising sun. That trophy was then built for Commander W. R. Creswell, chief of South Australia naval forces.
    The Rising Sun - Today pattern
    All this inspired General Sir E. Hutton, commander-in-chief of Australian armies, when an official badge was needed for Australian soldiers involved in South Africa during the Boer War. That contingent received there heavy supplies of "Rising Sun Jam" from a Melbourne manufacture. A story said that the designer of the army badge was more inspired by the jam trademark than by the original model. So in 1902, the Rising Sun became an Australian military insignia. In 1904, a new version was adopted. It is the one that the Anzac proudly worn during the Great War. Then, other modifications occurred (in 1949 and 1969). In 1991, for the 75th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, the badge was given back its 1904’s shape with the inscription "The Australian Army".
    External Link : Australian army website
    the knickname "digger"

    A WW1 "Digger" from the 29th bat.
    (Courtesy of Ted Harris - 42nd Bat AIF)

    The nickname "Digger" was gived to the Australian soldier during World War 1 the same way as "Tommy" for the British or “Poilu” for the French. Since XIXth century, Australia was one of the place in the world where gold could be found, originally, the name digger was for those looking for gold. By analogy, the word was used for Australian soldiers in the war starting from their involvement in the battle of the Somme in 1916, in the terrible Pozières sector. Many were perhaps former gold miners used to dig but all of them, because of trench warfare and like the others on the frontline, had to move tons of ground. When knowing its meaning, the nickname, still used for Australian soldiers, is a good image of what was this war.
    The Australian flag


    Australia became officially a state in 1901, a federation (see Australia at the beginning of the XXth century). The country had then its own government but it lacked a national emblem: a flag. 
    A Melbourne newspaper launched a competition for the design of a flag. Authorities joined the idea by offering a prize of 200 pounds to the winner. A comity was in charge to select among the projects of more than 32,000 candidates. Finally, with almost unanimity the project of Ivor Ivans, a 16 years old boy, was retained on September 3rd 1901. The big star (the Federation star) on left has seven points, each one represents a state of the Australian Commonwealth. On right, other stars represent the Southern Cross visible from the southern hemisphere. Stars are all located in order their points are directed towards the top of the flag. Concerning the Union Jack (the British flag), it remembers the bonds with United Kingdom, the former mother country whom the queen is still the chief of Australia. Ivor Ivans had also made two versions of the flag. The first with a red background could be deployed by any Australian citizen and the second version with a red background was reserved to official services. Into practice, it is that version which was the most used after even by ordinary people. Documents of this time like war time patriotic posters showed it.
    The Australian Blue Ensign officially became the Australian national flag only in 1953.

    External link : 
    History of the Australian national flag

    The Australian anthem
    “Advance Australia fair !”


    The anthem "Advance Australia Fair" officially became Australia national anthem on 19 April 1984. Previously the British "God Save The Queen" had this function. Henceforth, it would only be sing in the presence of the queen or a royal family member. "Advance Australia Fair" is an old popular song and its lyrics depict the history of the country. So it suited well for a national anthem. Contrary to "Waltzing Maltida" which the tune is more famous in the world and was a time selected.

    External link : 
    Listening to Australian national anthem