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Thread: Mottoes of RAF crests

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    Default Mottoes of RAF crests

    Hi all,

    as far as I know the mottoes were in most cases in English and Latin but I am sure they were some exceptions. I remember for example 240 Sq and also 68, 311 and 313 Sq with Czech mottoes. Was this common or only rare?

    TIA

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Pavel,
    You are stepping into a mine-field here!!!
    RAF Badges are - as far as I am aware - approved by the Inspector of RAF Badges. (S)he operates under the Rules laid down by the English College of Arms. They, in turn, operate under the Earl Marshal. The Earl Marshal is a member of the Royal Household!
    When I was investigating the Coat Of Arms belonging to a Family to whom I am distantly related I found that Coats Of Arms (and, likewise, RAF Badges) are subject to severe, detailed, and nit-picking, Rules. Much to my surprise, however, I discovered that the Motto underneath any Coat Of Arms, or Badge, is NOT subject to those Rules. But is normally displayed in a form agreed by the College of Arms.
    So, to answer your question, the Badge is subject to detailed, intricate, Rules. The Motto is not!
    So, if I am wrong - and you follow my advice - then we might both end up in a cell in The Tower Of London. See you there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Peter,

    many thanks for your answer - what a shame! I remmeber I have read somewehre about the mottoes that they must be also approved if they are not in English or Latin...
    We will see if someone else will have more info...

    Pavel

    P.S. See you in Tower:-)
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Hi Pavel

    RAF Badges (not crests) have had mottos in a number of languages, I have just had a look through my collection and found the following.

    Gaelic: - Benbecula, Machrihanish, MOTU, Scottish ATC (Military), 518 Sqn, 603 Sqn, 2622 Sqn?, 3510 FCU
    Greek: - 150 Sqn, Oxford UAS, 33 SU,
    Welsh: -233 OCU, Brawdy, Pembroke Dock, 210 Sqn, 614 Sqn, St Athan, 5 FTS
    French: - 287 Sqn, 342 Sqn, 617 SQn, 350 Sqn?, 93 EAS
    Dutch: - 320 Sqn?, 322 Sqn, Eindhoven
    Norwegian: - 240 Sqn?, 254 Sqn?, 330 Sqn, 332 Sqn, 333 Sqn
    Others: -

    AHQ Ceylon - Srl Lankan?
    Butterworth - Malay
    Eastleigh - an African language?
    Goose Bay - native Canadian language
    Kai Tak - Chinese
    Luqa - Maltese
    RATG - African language
    Sharjah - Arabic?
    1 Sqn RAF Reg - Babylonian?
    14 Sqn - Arabic
    26 Sqn - Afrikanes?
    75 Sqn - Moari
    100 Sqn - Malay?
    230 Sqn - Hindu?
    244 Sqn - Arabic?
    257 Sqn - Thai?

    There were some mor ethat were probably French and I may have missed some assuming they were latin.

    Malcolm

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    Further to my last and possibly contradicting Peter, when Guy Gibson designed the 617 badge he used the the french motto "Apres Moi Le Deluge". The Chester Herald, then responsible for the authorisation of RAF badges, turned it down because the grammar was incorrect, but on learning that King George VI had already seen the badge on his visit to the squadron and stated his approval at the time, the Chester Herald had to back down and approve the badge, including the mistake.

    Malcolm

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    Hi Pavel
    I think there was always scope in the Motto to reflect something of the Squadron's past, bearing in mind that Squadrons are often old ie back to WW1 but the badges date from the 1930's. Of 4 badges that I have at home from units that i spent time with in the late 50's and 60's Coastal Command has an English Motto-Constant Endeavour, No 1 Air Signaller's School has Latin-Discite Vigilare, 22 Sqn is French(from WW1 I think)-Preux et Audacieux and 224 Sqn Formed in Otranto,Italy in WW1 has Italian-Fedele All' Amico.
    I suggest you look on Malcolm raf's site rafweb.org under Squadrons-Flying where he has provided very many illustrations of badges and also under Stations.It should give a good idea of the possibilities
    Regards
    Dick

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    Indian Air Force Squadrons (And later Royal Indian Air Force Squadrons) had mottos in "Hindustani" a mix of Hindi and Urdu.

    1 Squadron - Ittehad Men Shakti (Strength through War) (approved 1941)
    4 Squadron - An par Jaan (Death before dishonour) (approved 1945)
    3 Squadron - Ba Himmat Ba Murad (approved 1945)
    22 Anti Aircraft Cooperation Unit - Nishano Baazon Ka Rahanumma (approved 1945)

    Interestingly 6 Squadron bcked the trend by having an engish motto "Knows No Fear" (approved 1945)

    Malcolm,

    230 RAF is in Malay
    Last edited by Jagan; 6th February 2010 at 16:44.

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    Many thanks to everyone for your comments.
    I remember there was a similar discussion in the past - but I am still confused about the name - crest or badge:-(
    Where I can find any official account to solved this for me once for all.

    TIA

    Pavel

    BTW the WWII ORB stated "crest"...
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    hello,

    Here are some mottoes in French :
    22 Preux et audacieux
    30 Ventre à terre
    88 En garde
    107 Nous y serons
    211 Toujours à propos
    242 Toujours prêt
    248 Il faut finir
    287 C'est en forgeant
    342 Nous y sommes
    425 Je te plumerai
    433 Qui s'y frotte s'y pique
    617 Aprés moi, le déluge

    I've put the correct accents, they're often missing as there's none in English.

    Actually only one French Squadron in the list, "Lorraine" Squadron (aka 342). Nos. 242, 425 and 433 being Canadians, it's not abnormal to have a few French mottoes. Actually 425 and 433 mottoes are directly linked to their "names" : I'll pluck you refers to the name "Alouette", from a children's song "Alouette je te plumerai etc....", while 433 was the Porcupine Squadron, and this is a typical French proverb.

    For No. 287 Squadron, it's the first part of a french idiom : "C'est en forgeant qu'on devient forgeron" (a forgeron is a blacksmith).

    I don't see the wrong grammar in 617 ?!

    350 Squadron is obviously latin, and is a famous quote from Julius Caesar.

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 6th February 2010 at 16:58.

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    Hi Joss

    It maybe wasn't the actual grammar but the Chester Herald initially refused to authorise it according to 'The Dambuster' by Paul Brickhill and I was also told the story when I took cadets to visit 617 Sqn at Marham some years ago.

    Pavel

    As far as I'm aware they are always called badges in the RAF.

    Malcolm

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