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Collectively, Your Air Force, seeks to commemorate the RCAF Centennial by honouring our history, reflecting on our contributions to air and space, and inspiring our next generation of aviators. Each mark, program, and event curated to celebrate this milestone has been, with intention, selected to represent the vast numbers of individuals, professions, and environments unique to our RCAF history and service.

RCAF Centennial Logo

The RCAF Centennial official logo was created by Matthew Allen, Creative Director at Revolve Branding & Marketing in Bedford, NS, under the leadership of Phil Otto, CEO of Revolve and Honorary Colonel of 12 Wing Shearwater, NS.

The roundel was historically used to distinguish aircraft from the enemy. The Royal Flying Corps borrowed the idea from the French, who used a roundel consisting of three concentric circles based on the tri-colour flag of France. During the Second World War, the RCAF replaced the inner red circle with a maple leaf on their ensign; after the war in 1946 they began marking their aircraft using the roundel with the maple leaf center. The Centennial logo honours the historical roots of the RCAF by emphasizing the current roundel as its main visual identifier, while emphasizing the circular shape in the graphic elements that make up the full brand story. Using circles of three is a nod to the past by recognizing the initial roundel design made of three concentric circles.

RCAF Centennial Colours

Royal Blue

The British RAF roundel in blue, white and red was adopted by Canada to identify aircraft in service to the King or Queen prior to 1924. These colours make up the main RCAF visual identifier today.

Red

The red maple leaf is one of the most recognized symbols for Canada’s identity since the 19th century. The maple leaf used within the RCAF roundel was introduced in 1965 and continues to be a symbol of national pride.

Cosmic Black

Cosmic Black represents the RCAF’s entry into space and the pathway to the stars.

White

Red and white became Canada’s official colours as a result of the proclamation of the Canada Coat of Arms by King George V in 1921. Like the national flag, the RCAF maintains a white background behind the maple leaf.

True Blue

RCAF service dress reflects this mid-range blue that has been a traditional Air Force colour since the RCAF was first formed in 1924.

Maritime Blue

This deep blue/grey tone represents the maritime community in the RCAF and pairs well with the logo to make it pop.

Pearl Grey

This colour represents the embroidered silver wire or thread used in RCAF uniforms and aircrew flying badges.

Aircraft Grey 1

Two tones of grey have been chosen for versatility in application that represent the colour of RCAF aircraft.

Aircraft Grey 2

Two tones of grey have been chosen for versatility in application that represent the colour of RCAF aircraft.

metallic silver

Metallic Silver

Symbolic of the full wing metal flying badges awarded to RCAF aircrew upon graduation.

RCAF Centennial Patch

In June 2022, veteran patch-designer Dave O’Malley, Creative Director and President of Aerographic Creative Services in Ottawa began the process of designing a patch that would encapsulate all of the distinctive elements of the RCAF Centennial, including the Centennial motto – Your Air Force. The final design was approved on 7 September 2022 by Major-General Colin Keiver, Deputy Commander, RCAF.

The velcro-backed patch was produced by MBM Promotions in Gatineau, QC. It has been authorized for wear on operational clothing on the left arm by members of the RCAF and members of the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Army who are employed in an RCAF establishment as per their respective operational dress instructions.

Centennial Patch

RCAF Centennial Song: Tous Unis, To the Skies

Performed by The Royal Canadian Air Force Band, ‘Tous Unis, To the Skies’ is inspired by the proud history of the RCAF, as well as the important role it continues to fulfill serving Canada and Canadians domestically and abroad. Like our official bilingual national anthem, the bilingual version features a blend of both official languages to represent the diversity and unity of the force.

The chorus draws on the historical RCAF motto, and that which adorns the Air Operations Branch cap badge worn by many RCAF members: Per Ardua Ad Astra – through adversity to the stars – À travers les embûches jusqu’aux étoiles. The chorus talks of the dedication of the RCAF to serve Canada and the global reach of RCAF air power – “missions near and far”. The verses expand upon this line to describe both international and domestic operations.

The first verse is meant to evoke aircrew serving during the Battle of Britain. This moment was, perhaps, to quote Prime Minister Churchill, the ‘finest hour’ of RCAF history. ‘The few’ (again, to quote Churchill), were key to the saving of Great Britain, and, arguably, the free world. Drawing a line through history, these lyrics could be just as true of RCAF members today: united to give it all for King and country as they set off on missions around the globe.

The second verse is meant to evoke domestic SAR operations: as daylight fades, the roar of a Cormorant brings hope to a crew in their peril. The maritime theme is meant to show the breadth of RCAF impact in Canada – coast to coast to coast.

Tous Unis, To the Skies

First Verse
Miles below waits our enemy
Our finest hour, we are ready
To give it all for King and country
To be the few who save the many

Chorus
Once again to the skies
Through adversity we fly
For Canada, on missions near and far

Tous unis sur le front
À travers les embûches nous volons
Déplacons les étoiles pour finir la mission

Second Verse
Le jour s’éteint à l’horizon
Le silence et la peur deviennent leur prison
Le bruissement d’un cormorant surgit
Leurs donne l’espoir d’embrasser leur familles

*Bilingual Lyrics

RCAF Centennial Demo Jet Paint Scheme

Originally from Quebec City, Quebec, Master Corporal Kevin Kelly joined the Canadian Armed Forces at 16 as a Reservist with the Voltigeurs de Quebec. In 2006, he transitioned to the Regular Force and is currently stationed at Canadian Forces Base Bagotville. Encouraged by his chain of command and his spouse, submitting a design for the RCAF Centennial CF-18 Demo Jet Paint Scheme competition was an opportunity to contribute to this historical milestone in RCAF history.

His winning design incorporates four themes: Air Power, Personnel, Innovation and Technology, and History and Heritage.

Air Power: Depicted through highlighting the RCAF’s six mandates on the left V-Stab, symbolizing aerobatics, fighters, maritime aviation, search and rescue, tactical aircraft, and transport. Each role is illustrated by the silhouette of a corresponding aircraft.

Personnel: Represented as silhouettes, a non-commissioned member, an officer, and a pilot are displayed allowing admirers to choose the gender and nationality of the person depicted so that everyone can identify within the RCAF.

Innovation and Technology: The central theme of the design is represented in the top view image which includes a design that features gears, a binary pattern and electronic circuits, emphasizing the significance of these technologies for the operation of RCAF aircraft. The binary numbers indicate “RCAF 2024” and “ARC 2024”, an excellent design suggestion from Maj Michael Kallio.

History and Heritage: With the assistance of RCAF Centennial Historian, Major (Ret’d) Mathias Joost, the following aircraft were selected to be represented in silhouettes on the right V-Stab:

  • The Starfighter: The RCAF’s frontline aircraft in NATO Germany for 25 years.
  • The Sabre: served as both a fighter and an air display aircraft with the Golden Hawks from 1959 to 1963.
  • The North Star: The RCAF’s transport supported troops abroad and provided humanitarian aid from 1949 to 1963.
  • The Lancaster: A wartime bomber and post-war search and rescue, maritime patrol, aerial photography, and arctic patrol aircraft.

RCAF 2024 Aircraft Mosaic

Designed by Sgt Mark Schombs, the RCAF 2024 Aircraft Mosaic design culminates every aircraft silhouette to have ever resided within the RCAF fleet. Reflected within many of the RCAF Centennial promotional items and design schemes, the aircraft in a maple leaf formation distinctly acknowledges the pride our members take in representing and protecting Canada at home and abroad, in both air and space.

aircraft mosaic