“Covenant love, mateship, resilience, fearlessness and breakthrough.”
This banner represents the charge of a Light Horseman in the deserts around Beersheba during World War I, a defining moment in the destiny of the young nation of Australia. The Light Horseman wears the traditional slouch hat with emu feathers of the company and the red banner with the white cross representing the Captain's Banner of the 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments. The watermark of the Star of David in the top left-hand corner represents the redemption of Jerusalem that became possible because of this now famous charge.
The Australian and New Zealand Light Horsemen did something many armies over the ages had tried and failed. Many attempts were made by British and ANZAC forces to take Beersheba without success. That changed on 31 October, 1917 when, after bruising skirmishes and forced retreats, the Australian Light Horse agreed to make a last ditch effort to take Beersheba.
They had to gallop across six kilometres (3 3/4 miles) of open desert plain under a barrage of artillery fire. Despite this, the Light Horse regiment charged so fast that the German and Turkish troops couldn't adjust their ranges fast enough. This daring attack surprised the Turks, some already retreating as the Light Horsemen approached. The Turks and Germans surrendered; the Australian Light Horsemen had captured Beersheba, thus opening the way for the liberation of Jerusalem from centuries of Turkish rule.
The banner also symbolises part of Australia�s redemptive gift to the world. Manifesting in the national culture as a sense of "mateship", of never letting a mate down and coming together in unity against the common foe. The �Spirit of the Light Horseman� is a spirit of covenant love and commitment, a spirit of resilience and fearlessness in the face of the enemy and of a breaking through against impossible odds.