Royal Air Force Ensign

Royal Air Force Ensign

Royal Air Force Ensign

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The Royal Air Force Ensign is the official flag which is used to represent the Royal Air Force. The Ensign has a field of air force blue with the Union Flag in the canton and the Royal Air Force roundel in the middle of the fly.

The RAF Ensign was introduced in 1921 after some opposition from senior members of the Royal Navy. Various nations' air force ensigns have been based upon the RAF Ensign. Currently it is flown from the flagstaff of every Royal Air Force station during daylight hours and permanently displayed on the Cenotaph in London.

Early history and authorisation

Ever since the formation of the RAF in 1918, the Air Council had wanted to introduce a flag which would be flown at RAF stations. However, the Admiralty had the right to veto the introduction of any new flag that was to be flown within the British Empire or on a British vessel. Although the Admiralty were initially opposed to granting the RAF its own flag, after considerable pressure from the Air Council, they reluctantly agreed to the introduction of such a flag, stating that the Air Force should adopt the Union Flag defaced with a suitable device. The Air Council did not welcome the Admiralty's condition, as they wished to use the White Ensign with the St George's Cross removed. Whilst the War Office had no objections to this proposed design, the Admiralty certainly did, and they rejected the Air Council's suggestion on the basis that the White Ensign was exclusively reserved for Royal Navy...
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