Outcry over Aboriginal flag ban in Aus Anzac Day services. Image Source: IANS News

Canberra, Feb 21 : A decision to ban the Aboriginal flag and other forms of recognition from Anzac Day services in Western Australia (WA) has sparked widespread backlash, a media report said on Friday.

Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) in World War One. Each year, solemn ceremonies are held on April 25 in both the countries to commemorate veterans and soldiers.

But a veterans' organisation, Returned Service League (RSL), said it would no longer allow Aboriginal displays at its services in the state, the BBC report said.

It added that all content, except the New Zealand anthem, must be in English.

The RSL has previously been criticised for ignoring and diminishing the service of Aboriginal soldiers in World War One and other conflicts.

Critics, among them indigenous and non-indigenous lawmakers, have called the move "offensive" and demanded it be reversed.

According to the Australian War Memorial, at least 1,000 indigenous Australians are recorded to have fought for their nation in the First World War, and "the real number is probably higher".

"It is not known what motivated Indigenous Australians to join the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), but loyalty and patriotism doubtless played a part," says the memorial's website.

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