In 1937, John Heaton-Armstrong, the newly appointed Chester Herald (an officer of arms at the College of Arms in London) was commissioned to prepare a design for a Royal Australian Air Force badge. It was accepted in 1939.

The Air Force Badge features a circle with the words ‘Royal Australian Air Force', the Imperial Crown, and a Wedge-Tailed Eagle in flight.

Beneath the circle is a scroll with the Latin motto: 'Per Ardua Ad Astra'. Although no specific record of the translation exists, it is widely believed to mean: 'Through Struggle to the Stars' or 'Through Adversity to the Stars'.

History of the RAAF Motto

The motto was derived from Sir Henry Rider Haggard's famous novel The People of the Mist and was selected and approved as the motto for the Royal Flying Corps on 15 March 1913. It remains with the Royal Air Force today.

In 1929 the Royal Australian Air Force decided to adopt it too, and in 2002 when the RAAF Memorial in Canberra was being redeveloped, the then Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Angus Houston, signed off on what is now the official Air Force translation: 'Through Struggle to the Stars'.

Copyright

Copyright restrictions apply to the use of any Royal Australian Air Force Badge or logo. They are protected nationally and internationally by the Defence Act 1903, Trade Marks Act 1995 and the Chester Herald Act 1939.