RCAF receives new Colours

RCAF Colours

The new RCAF Colour is draped over the piled drums before being consecrated by the RCAF chaplain.
Photo: Maj Holly-Anne Brown

RCAF Colours

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds and the CF-18 Demonstration Hornet fly over Toronto during the presentation and consecration of new RCAF Colours on September 1.
Photo: OS Paul Green

RCAF Public Affairs

Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada David Johnston presented the RCAF with new Colours at a ceremony in Toronto September 1.

Colours are consecrated flags carried by designated Canadian Armed Forces formations and units. The RCAF carries two Colours: the Queen’s Colour, a maple leaf flag with the Sovereign’s cypher in the centre, which symbolizes loyalty to the Crown; and the Command Colour, a blue flag with the RCAF badge at the centre, symbolizing the RCAF’s pride, cohesion, and valour.

The RCAF Colours replace the Air Command Colours that were presented in 1982.

“Our Colours are precious, and embody the pride, dedication, duty, and honour of all RCAF personnel past and present,” said LGen Michael Hood, commander of the RCAF. “As we accept these new Colours, all members of the RCAF, regardless of rank, occupation, or experience, symbolically rededicate themselves to upholding these qualities.

“I am delighted that we are celebrating this historical event with the citizens of Toronto, a city rich in RCAF history and present-day connections,” he said.

The RCAF, with civilian partners from Vintage Wings of Canada and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, conducted a “parade of aircraft” at the ceremony. The flypast included aircraft from the Second World War and from current RCAF fleets. The Canadian Forces Snowbirds and the CF-18 Demonstration Hornet participated.

“The Royal Canadian Air Force, as the guarantor of Canadian sovereignty, has a long and proud history of defending Canada and its allies,” said Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan. “The RCAF members of today can take pride in the past and all that these Colours represent as they look to an innovative and proud future.”

The RCAF was the first Commonwealth air force to be granted the privilege of carrying the King’s Colour, which it received in 1950 together with the RCAF Colour. These were replaced by the Air Command Colours in 1982.

The new Command Colour carries the new badge that was created following restoration of the RCAF’s historic name in 2011, with the motto Sic itur ad astra: “Such is the pathway to the stars.” The new Queen’s Colour also carries the RCAF’s restored name.