The History of the
Badge of the Royal
The official badge of the
Royal Australian Navy (RAN) was adopted on 23 August 1949 (
pictured below left)
result of an inquiry by the Building Surveyor, Hobart, Tasmania, who
wished to incorporate a naval symbol in a design for the Hobart Cenotaph.
The badge was derived from a Navy office booklet "Advice to
Personnel", "The Navy List" and a rubbing from the badge
displayed on the glass doors on the ground floor of the Coventry Street
entrance to "N" Block.
description of the officially approved design was promulgated in Navy
It contained within a left handed rope
surround, which displayed a knotted section in its base, a stockless
chain cabled anchor, and four dots which were placed between a
federation star and the words "Royal Australian Navy".
Placed on top of the rope surround was
the Tudor (Kings) Crown.
||This badge was
then amended on 3 December 1957 (NO 1149/1957) by substituting the St
Edwards (Queens) Crown for the Tudor Crown and right hand in place of
left hand roping. (pictured left)
On 16 July 1968 the badge was again
revised by eliminating the knotted rope surround in favour of a plain
oval rope surround and the four dots which appeared between the words,
Royal Australian Navy and Federation Star.
Some thoughts are that the
four dots from the original rubbing were duplicated in the original
draft designs by mistake as they could have been the mounting screw
holes that secured the badge to the door
||Certainly this gives the badge even
further mystery about its origins because no
record exists about the designers or original designs that lead to the
existence of the 1949 badge.
Again speculation but with some sound knowledge suggests that the
origins came from the Royal Navy (RN) as so many other RAN badge designs
are derived from the RN.
2002 official badge (left) has
had a slight change since the development of the 1968 badge.
being in spacing the words "Royal Australian Navy" closer
above information is the official line and may
very well be true and correct. However it might not be complete. Below
is a post card sent from Gallipoli in 1915 that bears an RAN Badge very
similar to the later 'official' badge' but without the King's
Crown. As the postcard appears to be a standard Government issue
"fill in the gaps" type, one has to wonder just how old the
Navy Badge really is.
|I made enquiries of the
RAN. This is their reply. "Yes the Navy badge was introduced
officially in 1949 but evidence does exist that it was used and
displayed prior to this date although no official records are held to
back this up. It is only through the existence of pictures and
other material like the certificate in your reference that indicate the
use of and different designs of the Navy badge. Some even suggest
that the original design, as displayed on the certificate, came from a
navy button that had the Navy badge on it. The mystery goes on and
on". (10 Feb 2003)
For more ideas on
where the RAN badge may have come from look at the Buttons
Naval Badge" of the
The Royal Navy as such has no specific
badge. On blazer pockets, Naval officers (and many ratings nowadays)
wear the Naval crown but, as this crown is incorporated in the
authorised badge of the Merchant Navy, it cannot be used to signify the
Royal Navy specifically. The plain foul anchor (centre piece of the
Naval cap badge) is probably the most appropriate badge to use to
signify the Royal Navy.
This may explain why
the RAN was in no hurry to have a badge of its' own.
NAVY Badge update: 2005
The Navy badge was redrawn in 2001 to make it more recognisable to the
We did this by
adding the word NAVY to the badge and took the opportunity to redesign
the inside of the badge while we were at it, as you rightly point out
the words are closer together and it's now in a '3D' look.
We also have a
black and white version.
'ceremonial' use (such as memorials and other solemn occasions) we use
the badge without the word NAVY, this is a gold coloured crest - but -
wherever we can we use the badge accompanied by the word NAVY (either
under or next to the badge depending on the print area).
A serving RAN CPO.
The badges with NAVY added are only advertising badges.
There is no
suggestion that the wording be included in any hat badge or uniform