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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Who designed the Canadian Forces Badge?


A while ago, I already talked about the Canadian Forces Badge (you can catch this article here). In fact, this was one of the first badges I recreated during the early days of my “Military Insignia 3D”project. I still consider this particular badge to be one of the most beautiful military insignia ever created. What I didn't and couldn't tell at the time of that writing was who was responsible for this outstanding design. I simply could not find that kind of information anywhere I looked. Years went by, and lo and behold – this information found me, in a form of a letter from a wonderful person, an 83-year old veteran or the Royal Canadian Navy, Douglas (Doug) Moulton, Petty Officer CD RCN (Retired), who now lives in Chute a Blondeau, Ontario, Canada. It was a remarkable story about creation of the badge. Finally we are able to make public names of those involved.  Sadly, to this day, names of the real creators of one of the most prominent images of Canadian military insignia have been lost in the endless basements of our bureaucratic machine.  Also, regretfully, the name of one person, who actually brought all the ideas to life (mind you, without Photoshop or other modern technology), and who was simply mentioned here as the “RMC photographer”, this very name still remains unknown. But I am not giving up on my investigation…  Hopefully, someday, we will find out who this person was…
For this very occasion, to accompany the article you are reading, I have created a new commemorative version of the Canadian Armed Forces Badge, which I am happy to present here. Unfortunately, this blog remains to be the only place where this design can be seen and enjoyed. And now, without further ado, let me present Doug’s remarkable story, just as he told it, word for word.  Following is his letter in its entirety, without any omissions or editing of any kind…

Serge,

I hope you will take the time to read my story regarding the CAF Badge.  I am an 83 year old retired Canadian Naval type.  Your site which I stumbled on with the question: "Who designed the CAF Badge?" intrigued me.  Why?  Well I served in the latter 50s at the Royal Military College in Kingston Ontario in the Orderly Room (Ship's Office in my lingo) alongside an Army Sergeant (Service Corp. Admin Clerk) and an Air Force Sergeant  (RCAF Admin clerk).  I was a Petty Officer First Class at the time and also an Admin Clerk.  An order was published by, I believe, National Defence HQ asking for suggestions regarding a suitable Badge for the soon to be inaugurated Armed Forces.  

My confreres, Sgt. Dick Everenden and Sgt. Bill Hewitt (deceased) put our heads together and toyed with the idea of designing a badge for submission.  We had all the ideas, but none of the artistic qualities to put it together.  

We asked the then RMC official photographer for help.  He was very good at his profession and after hearing our description and showed him where the subject matter came from, he soon put together the Badge as you see it today. 

Our reasoning was simple. First I claimed that the Navy was "the senior service" and that the fouled anchor should be the first to be laid down, which followed the obvious second item, "crossed sabers" of the Army, and followed by the "Albatross" of the RCAF.  All set on an oval of Blue surrounded by ten Maple leaves representing the ten provinces. 

Finally Serge, let me tell you I have been in touch with our Government from the Governor General down.  What most puzzles me that no one can find mine and my confreres’ submission and cannot give a designer's name to it…  How can such an important item not have a root from which it sprung!?  Sorry about this long diatribe, but I thought it might interest you.  By the way, I am not conversant with the deep technologies of photography; I can tell you however that the RMC photographer used some form of transparent overlays in the process...

Hope to hear your comments.

Douglas (Doug) Moulton, Petty Officer CD RCN (Retired)

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