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RAAF BADGE AND ROUNDEL
 
 

RAAF BadgeThe Royal Australian Air Force Badge

The RAAF Badge design was accepted by the Chester Herald, John Heaton-Armstrong, in 1939. The badge features a circle inscribed with the words “Royal Australian Air Force” and ensigned with the Imperial Crown, in front is a Wedge-Tailed Eagle in flight. Beneath the circle is a separate scroll with the Latin motto: “Per Ardua Ad Astra”.

The motto was derived from Sir Henry Rider Haggard’s famous novel, “The People of the Mist” and was selected and approved as a motto for the Royal Flying Corps on 15 March 1913 and remains with the RAF today. In 1929 the Royal Australian Air Force decided to adopt it too.

Although no specific record of the translation exists, many slight variations on the signed version were used since 1929, with the RAAF Chief of Air Force formally accepting the meaning: “Through Struggle to the Stars” in January 2002.



RAAF RoundelThe Royal Australian Air Force Roundel

The current version of the RAAF Roundel was formally adopted on 2 July 1956. The Roundel exists of a white inner circle with a red kangaroo in motion surrounded by a royal blue circle. The kangaroo always faces left, except when used on aircraft or vehicles, when the kangaroo should always face the front.

When the Royal Australian Air Force was formed on 31 March 1921 it adopted the existing red, white and blue Roundel of the Royal Air Force to identify its aircraft. However during World War II the inner red circle was removed when an 11 Squadron Catalina was mistaken for a Japanese aircraft by a US Navy Wildcat in the Pacific Theatre.

After the war, a range of options were proposed including the Southern Cross, a boomerang, a sprig of wattle and the red kangaroo in motion. Because of the kangaroo, the RAAF Roundel is readily recognised worldwide as the Australian Air Force and has been displayed with pride ever since.

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