The British Empire League was a bunch of Australians in the early 20thC who wanted imperialism to prevail rather than nationalism in Australia. The prominent politician of the time, Alfred Deakin, was the great compromiser and saw no difference between being Australian and a Briton which was to become the popular sentiment through to Menzies. The British Empire League agitated to have Empire Day be a public holiday and chose Queen Victoria’s birthday of March 24th to have it.
The Australian Catholics didn’t like the idea of imperial promotion much and called it “Australia Day” instead. St Mary’s in Sydney chose to run up its flag poles the Irish Harp Flag and the Blue Ensign (our current national flag).
The Australian National flag at the time was the British Union Flag (Union Jack) and would remain so until the Flag Act of 1953. The Blue Ensign was intended for use on government buildings only and the Red Ensign for Australian merchant ships.
The Sydney Morning Herald was out-raged at this lack of respect and its newspaper led with the headline, “No Union Jack is Flown”.