In 1937 the newly appointed Chester Herald, John Heaton-Armstrong, was commissioned to prepare a design for a RAAF badge, which was finally accepted in 1939. The Air Force 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'. 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'.
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 and remains with the RAF 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 RAAF translation 'Through Struggle to the Stars'.
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 and the Trade Marks Act 1995.
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