RESPLENDENT green and emblazoned with the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War emblem, the official POW flag is flying once more in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.
For three months the Ballarat Australian Ex-POW memorial has flown the Australian flag while new green flags were made.
Ballarat ex-POW memorial committee chairman Les Kennedy said it was perfect timing, with Ballarat to mark the ninth anniversary of the memorial in a ceremony at the gardens at 11am tomorrow – the only national POW memorial outside Canberra.
“It’s very important this memorial, it’s a unique POW memorial, and it should have the Australian ex-POW flag at the entrance,” Mr Kennedy said.
“So many visitors come into the gardens and the flag helps identify the memorial.”
Ballarat’s national memorial features names of more than 35,000 Australian POWs dating back to the Boer Wars, that started in the late 1800s, through to the Korean War (1950-53).
Names included are those who served in the Australian Defence Forces, Australians serving in the Merchant Navy and Australians enlisted in the allied defence forces.
The Ballarat memorial is the first time a list of all Australian POWs had been compiled.
Mr Kennedy said Australian POWs never had a flag of their own until the Ballarat memorial committee worked with a local graphic designer to create one, approved by the national POW body, to fly at the memorial’s opening in 2004.
All ex-prisoners of war, their families and visitors are invited to tomorrow’s memorial service.