XV Sqn Standard

XV SQUADRON HISTORY

THE SQUADRON STANDARD

BATTLE HONOURS

 

Western Front 1915-1918*, Somme 1916*, Arras, Cambrai 1917*, Somme 1918, Hindenburg Line*, France and Low Countries 1939-1940, Meuse Bridges*, Dunkirk, Invasion Ports 1940, Fortress Europe 1941-1944, Ruhr 1941-1945*, Berlin 1941-1945*, Biscay Ports 1941-1945, France and Germany 1944-1945, Normandy 1944*, Gulf 1991*.

 

(Honours marked with an asterisk, are emblazoned on the Squadron Standard)

In 1943 His Majesty King George VI marked the 25th Anniversary of the formation of the RAF by granting to operational flying squadrons who met specific qualifications the right to a ceremonial flag to be known as “The Standard”. The Standard is the embodiment of the squadron and the symbol under which it fights. Its presence on parade or at a ceremony represents that of the Squadron to which it belongs.

 

The general design of The Standard was chosen in 1947 and was approved by the King in June 1950. The first Standard to be presented, in April 1953, was that of No.1 Squadron by Air Vice-Marshal Sir Charles Longcroft who had been the Squadron’s first Commanding Officer.

 

The practice of having Colours and Standards within the RAF has been inherited from the Army, through the Royal Flying Corps connection, with the RAF Colours based on the RAF Ensign. The RAF Regiment follows a similar practice to that of the Royal Marines in that is has its own Colour for the RAF Regiment as a whole and also individual Squadron Standards. In so doing, both the Royal Marines and RAF Regiment show their link to the Army infantry role.

 

The concept of colours and standards is extremely old; to the Roman Legions the loss of their Eagle was an unmitigated disgrace. Banners, flags and pennants decorated medieval battlefields and they were used to identify friend from foe and to act as rallying points. The English Civil War saw the first real military flags such as we would recognise today, a period that also saw the beginnings of the modern Army.

 

Despite an order given in 1811 that Colours and Standards should no longer be carried into battle, the practice continued until 1881. Men continued to die fighting to save their Colours and thereby the honour of the regiment. The last time Colours were carried into battle was in January 1881 during the 1st Boer War.

 

The award of the XV Squadron Standard was originally announced on 15 January 1952, effective from 01 April 1951 but presented to the Squadron on 03 May 1961 by HRH Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. The second Standard was presented by Sqn Ldr P J S Boggis on 08 May 1981. The third and current Standard was presented on 10 December 2008 by HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

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