A Brief History of the Flag of the U.S. Air Force
The United States Air Force (USAF) Flag holds a rich history that symbolizes the proud heritage and accomplishments of the Air Force.
The earliest version of the flag dates back to 1947 when the USAF was established as a separate branch of the military. At that time, the flag featured a dark blue field with a central insignia depicting a white star with a red disc in the center. Surrounding the star were 13 white stars arranged in a circle, representing the original thirteen colonies. This flag was also adorned with the "U.S. Air Force" inscription in white letters beneath the central insignia.
In 1951, the design of the flag was modified to include the addition of the Air Force Coat of Arms, which was placed at the center of the flag. The Coat of Arms features a shield quartered in blue and silver, with thunderbolts in red and white crossing the shield. Above the shield is a blue scroll with white lettering that reads "United States Air Force." Below the shield is another blue scroll with white lettering that reads "The Air Force Song," referring to the official song of the Air Force.
In 2005, the Air Force Chief of Staff, General John P. Jumper, announced a new design for the Air Force flag. The current flag incorporates the Army's heraldic Crest of Arms with elements that represent the Air Force. The central emblem consists of a bald eagle flying diagonally across the field, carrying a scroll in its talons. The scroll bears the Air Force motto, "Semper Vigilans" meaning "Always Vigilant." Above the eagle, there is a constellation of stars representing the stars in the night sky, and on either side, the flag displays the U.S. Air Force emblem. The flag's background is blue.
The USAF flag is typically displayed at official Air Force ceremonies, on aircraft, and at the headquarters of various Air Force units around the world. It serves as a visual representation of the Air Force's dedication, achievements, and commitment to protecting the United States' interests in the air and space domains.