The Philippine Air Force Standards
*The PAF Official Seal was adopted effective July 14, 1999. The usual English inscription of Philippine Air Force was changed to Pilipino - Pilipinas Hukbong Himpapawid.
Blue Background Circle - Representing the official color of the Air Force being the guardian of the Philippine skies.
Three Yellow Stars - Signify the three (3) major islands of the Philippines, namely Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao which the Philippine Air Force is sworn to defend and protect.
Golden Wing - As gold is a precious metal, rust proof and with lasting luster, it symbolizes everlasting patience and deep sense of commitment by brave airmen who love to reach the infinite skies to attain their goal. The wing is similar to the original Philippine Air Force seal adopted in 1947 to represent the flying profession.
Diamond of Three Colors - Representing the primary colors – red, white and blue of the Philippine flag to which the Philippine Air Force has pledge its allegiance.
Yellow Inner and Outer Bands - Symbolizes unity and quest for perfection.
Pilipinas Hukbong Himpapawid - Proportionally distributed and divided by the three (3) stars around the wing, denotes the distinctive identification of the Philippine Air Force as a major service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Lyrics by Capt Lauro Ll Abaño
Music by: LTC Antonio Buenaventura
As we fly over land and sea
Guardians of our Country
With hearts and soul that never die
But live to fly over so high
Up in the sky you'll always hear
The Men who brave the air
Philippine Air Force we'll always be in VICTORY.
1LT Basilio B Fernando made the first design. It was applied on Stearman 73L-3 primary trainer plane number 36-2, the first aircraft of the Philippine Army Air Corps to take to the air. The aircraft was test-flown by 1Lt William Lee over Zablan field on 2 May 1936, ushering the rebirth of military aviation in the country.
Fernando's design was simple blue diamond framed by a white lozenge. There were no borders; the contrast of color was all that separated the inner and outer diamond even as it outlined the whole design against the camouflaged paint scheme of the PAAC aircraft. This insignia was applied on aircraft rudder and on four wing stations (upper and lower).
Fernando's design immortalized the genesis of aviation in the Philippines, for its diamond configuration was derived from the insignia of the Signal Corps, the first military arm in the islands to experiment in flying aircraft. The insignia thus covered the history of military aviation all the way back to the pioneering days of 1LT Frank P Lahm Jr.
Following the end of World War II, a modified design was evolved by the reconstructed Philippine Army Air Corps. Still retaining Fernando's basic design, a blue border was added to frame the outer side of the white lozenge. The words "Phil Army" which was carried in the lower wings of the pre-war aircraft was now deleted.
Following the elevation of the Philippine Army Ar Corps into a major command and component of the Armed Forces on 1 July 1947, it was renamed and restructured as the Philippine Air Force. The PAF subsequently adopted a new insignia designed by Lt Tomas C Tirona.
Tirona retained the modified diamond of the post-war period but he added white bars framed in blue outline on both sides as stylized wings. This design was design was applied on the wings and across the vertical tail surfaces of the C-47 Gooney Birds.
In 1949, the Philippine Air Force discarded the camouflaged paint scheme and adopted silver as the official color of all its aircraft. It also adopted a new logo. The bars in Tirona's design were reshaped into layered wings. The outer border of the white lozenge was now also colored red. The national tri-color thus became enshrined in the PAF's aircraft insignia.
In 1969, the Air Force received its first orders of UH-1H helicopters. Fatigue and camouflage became the official color of the helicopters.
With the outbreak of insurgency and secessionist movements, the Philippine Air Force repainted even fixed wing aircraft involved in counter insurgency operations to camouflages and/or fatigue. The Air Force insignia is outlined in black on these aircraft.
(Research data courtesy of Capt. Alberto Anido)
The monkey-eating eagle, a distinctive Philippine bird of prey, symbolizes the flying profession.
The equilateral triangle symbolizes liberty, equality and fraternity.
The three stars represent the three main island groupings of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The gold sun with the Tagalog "K" symbolizes the birth of freedom (K for Kalayaan), precious as the gold of which it is made. The nine rays represent the first eight provinces, which revolted against Spain, and the Muslim provinces, which heretofore had resisted the presence of foreign invaders. (Except for the sun, the rest of the badge is actually made of silver.)
Metal representations of these colors as background within the equilateral triangle:
White - represented in plain surface of the upper portions symbolizes purity.
Red - represented in horizontally lined surface on the left portion symbolizes courage.
Blue - represented in vertically lined surface on the right portion symbolizes peace.
The lone star, when present in the badge, indicates a senior pilot rating.
The sampaguita laurel, when added to the star, indicates a command pilot rating.