Battle Honours emblazoned on the 51 Squadron Standard
Home Defence 1916 - 18 Norway 1940
France and Low Countries 1940 Fortress Europe 1940 - 44
Ruhr 1940 - 1945 Baltic 1940 - 44
Italy 1943 France and Germany 1944 - 45
The Squadron Standard in the Royal Air Force
Standards have been used by the British armed forces for many centuries. It is probable that their original purpose was to be the rallying point during a confused battle. Emblazoned on them are the battle honours recording the proud traditions of the unit, and constituting a memorial to those who have gone before and contributed to these traditions. Above all, a Standard is a symbol of the Sovereign's trust in the unit concerned.
Standards for the Royal Air Force were created by His Majesty King George VI on 1 April 1943, to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force. Squadrons qualify for the award of a standard after twenty-five years of service, or by having earned the Sovereign's appreciation for especially outstanding operations. A new standard may be presented after the original standard has been in service for twenty-five years.
The practice of consecrating standards is of very long standing, and because of this religious significance they become not only an outward sign of unity, loyalty and achievement, but also a symbol of fellowship with God.
The combination of these factors accords a deep significance to the Squadron Standard. It is to be honoured as a symbol of the trust which the Sovereign places in the Squadron and an emblem of its achievments. It is a focus for our traditions, a reminder of the devotion and sacrifices of our predecessors, and a inspiration to those who serve.