Designing new Squadron Crest and Motto

Has anyone had any experience with changing their Squadron Motto and Crest? Ours actually does not not represent what we do, and only has a boat on it!!! Our motto also translates into ‘‘We struggle to be able to’’… great! :unsure:

Do we have to go through any official channels or red tape?

Thanks in advance!

someone will be along later i am sure to offer more help but yes there is an official channel to go through where approval is needed way on high.

i’m certainly this was discussed in some detail in the archive (top row of taps, resources>archive) which i am sure you’ll be able to find via a search

Yes there is Dai and it’s pretty simple.

The ACO has a Special Projects Officer who has been appointed to look after Badges and his job is to advise Wgs/Sqns and act as the intermediary between units and the College of Arms; his e mail address is He should be your first point of call and he will take you through everything. It can seem tortuous as the RAF Ceremonial Office also have to be involved later, but the end product is always worth it.

I’ve got a memo from the Special Projects Officer in which he outlines the process and the procedure from the Ceremonial Office together with the College/ACO ‘approved’ Badge design; happy to send you them, pm me contact details and it will be done!

I’d point out that the process above is not mandatory, though your local CoC may have an opinion on the process and will certainly want a say on whether any design is considered acceptable.

Although, on 20 May 14 we received the following from LaSER which seems to suggest that the ACO intends to force the formal approval process…

[quote]First of all there is no published policy on Sqn badges, but one is being worked up at the moment between HQAC (Flt Lt Tunesi of Liongam) and RAF Ceremonial. Most badges you see are unofficial and have not been formally approved. Of the well over 1000 Air Cadet units (includes VGS, CCF & Sqns) that could have a badge only about 30 have been approved. Over the coming years all the unofficial badges will be put through the approvals process though it will take some time to do them all.

Secondly, the ACO badges cannot have the Queen’s Crown or Laurel Leaves and the layout must be to an approved pattern. For ATC Sqns for example the circlet around the badge must be red not blue. Therefore, certain badges would not be approved in their current format. There are badges around Sussex Wg where the current sqn badge is unofficial and wrong.

Getting a badge approved is not a quick process. It has multiple stages that will end with the Inspector of RAF Badges signing off an original piece of art work for the badge. You will get copies and an electronic version too. You will also get a bill for £465.

You may ask why go through all this and have to pay a fee when others haven’t. Rest assured though that all sqns, wgs, rgns and other units with unofficial badges will be written to over the coming years with a requirement to convert to an official badge so you are only putting off the day when you will have to do it and by the time the system catches up with you the bill could well be more. [/quote]

To be honest, I think if they start trying to insist that every unit pay nearly £500 for an officially registered badge rather than just saying “this is our approved format, follow it”, they’ll find that much of the Corps simply abandons their badges. That would be a great shame.

I have no problem at all with the ACO mandating a certain general design on squadron badges - that being pretty much everything but the design in the middle.

I also have no issues with them placing certain restrictions on the central design to ensure that it is appropriate for use in representing the ACO and is not plagiarised from a military design which caught someone’s fancy.

I do have issue with enforcing heraldic motifs and layouts on the designs and for paying hundreds of pounds to a private company to manage the system then [possibly having a limited “original” to work from.

Spending £500 for an approved badge seems like a misuse of charity funds to me.


I’m all for standardising. There are way too many badges which use the RAF template.

But I also approached the Special Projects Officer and was told of the cost. At that point I just went to the WIng Commander, said “is this alright?” He said Yes.

Job done. Cost £0

The problem is that as the LaSER communication points out, an awful lot of the Badges currently in use across the ACO are just that, awful. Many use central devices that they have ‘borrowed’ from other units (ATC Sqns with the same number as RAF Sqns for example) and many devices simply lack the gravitas that should be associated with a formal Badge. A Badge device should be regarded as belonging solely to the particular unit and nobody else should use it.

Whilst I agree that close on £500 is a lot of money, it should be seen as a permanent investment for the Sqn. The idea is not to keep changing the Sqn’s Badge every few years on the whim of the particular OC at the time. Now clearly spending £500 won’t stop people changing Badges or using someone else’s device unoficially, but it may make them think twice.

Why would you want to prevent squadrons from changing their badge as and when they choose to? So long as they meet certain criteria then let them play.

Some of the worst badges I’ve seen belong to regions, by the way.
LASER’s own one is notably gopping!

Why would you want to prevent squadrons from changing their badge as and when they choose to? So long as they meet certain criteria then let them play.

Some of the worst badges I’ve seen belong to regions, by the way.
LASER’s own one is notably gopping![/quote]


Kill it with fire!

Why would you want to prevent squadrons from changing their badge as and when they choose to? So long as they meet certain criteria then let them play.[/quote]

How many RAF Sqns change their Badge on posting of OC? None. How many RAF Sqn Badges are the same as when the Sqn was formed (except for the King’s crown)? All of them (I think).

The Badge should represent the unchanging nature of the Unit; people come and go, the Unit stays the same.

Some of the worst badges I’ve seen belong to regions, by the way.
LASER’s own one is notably gopping![/quote]

Agreed - and yours is a little ‘busy’ too!
Interesting motto as well.

I’ll bear that is mind when I have to concern myself with the heraldry of an RAF formation! :smiley:

[quote=“cygnus maximus” post=20214]Agreed - and yours is a little ‘busy’ too!
Interesting motto as well.[/quote]

I had nothing to do with that, just my squadron one (which is a bit busy but based on a cadet design from 25 years ago) and the wing one (which was redone when the new wing formed a few years back)

No idea why the region’s text is how it is - possibly the designer couldn’t write in circles. They’ve actually just had that badge re-drafted (not redesigned) so we have it in vector format and not just as a 100x100 JPG

What about the badges which aren’t in the general style of an RAF unit badge at all?


What about the badges which aren’t in the general style of an RAF unit badge at all?[/quote]

Burn them?

There are some hideous badges out there!
Particularly in Sussex Wing as that LaSER email states.

Trying to convince OCs that their ‘long held’ badges with laurels, blue circlet, St Edwards Crown, and aesthetically revolting ‘logos’ should be scrapped is not as easy as you might hope.

I’m all for forcing the hand of these people because it offends my eye as a graphic designer and my interest in herladry :wink:
Though, I’m not at all for mandating the large cost of official approval via the College of Arms.

Mate drop me a message I’ll help you get it sorted.

I couldn’t agree with you more regarding the hideous Badges WDI, and you’re right, £450 is a lot of money, but you do get a lot of Badge for it and the knowledge that it’s yours in perpetuity. Unless the HQAC special Projects Officer does the approving bit, I don’t see any other way that you’ll get the heraldically-correct finished article though; there has to be some check mechanism to filter out the rubbish.

I think that in the past, our people saw that RAF formations and other military units had Badges and, understandably, they decided they wanted one too. The problem is that until now, nobody has ever told them what was or wasn’t acceptable and as with a lot of other things, they just did what they wanted; we are now left with the unregulated legacy.


We chose our two badge elements, a fountain (of the heraldic kind) and a stork, based on the history of the village.
The fountain for the river from where the village takes it’s name; and the stork as a locally accepted icon - the village having been well known for storks for centuries (and it’s ancient name as such recorded in the Domesday book).

Some other badges though clearly haven’t as much thought or relevance.

so whats going to happen when an OC with a crest thats not been through the CoA for verification/whatever turns round to HQAC and says ‘sorry, i’ve got a minibus on the bones of its bottom, no tents and kids who’s parents can’t afford their subs, let alone camp fees - i’m not paying £500 for a flag…’?

i’m assuming that since most Sqn funds fall under the CWC and not public money, HQAC can send whatever written orders they like, but the CWC aren’t obliged to buy stuff just because HQAC want them to…

Probably get told to use the FREE HQAC official ATC badge.

Nope. But the OC does sit in the CoC so, if HQAC went the way above regarding “official badges” then there would be an expectation of them removing the unauthorised ones and replacing them with the ATC one until such date that a squadron can afford to buy their own one.

so its all just fluff then - ‘stop using unofficial crests/whatever by X date, and if you don’t fancy forking out £500 to get your unofficial crests/whatever made official you can just use the free one…’?

i have to ask, who spends money getting new/unofficial/whatever crests turned into signs, banners etc… and not on buying kit, diesel, and subsidising trips? is this perhaps not a selection mechanism that HQAC should be using to work out who should be given the opportunity to explore wider interests?