285. Colouring in
As regular readers know, 1264 has French cockades on the wings and fuselage, and the story of why a British aircraft is in French colours is one that continues to fascinate people.
Ron Saunders, researcher for the shortly-to-be-released film of 1264, has uncovered a couple of interesting snippets which add to the information.
Wikipedia says that the French adopted national markings as early as 1912 – something I was unaware of. They also explain the origin of the German Eisernes Kreuz (iron cross) – I had no idea that it was connected with Germany’s earlier incarnation as the Holy Roman Empire!
But apparently Ian Baker in a recent Britain at War article has spurred correspondence on the Great War Forum giving details of more dates. The RNAS adopted the Union Flag on 26 October 1914, followed by a new instruction in December 1914 for a red ring with a white centre, more or less at the same time as the RFC adopted the standard red-white-blue roundel.
The adoption of the French cockade, with a blue spot in the middle, was a later version, capable of being adapted from the earlier two-colour version, and more like the RFC roundel. It also meant that Nieuports being bought from the French could be put into service without further repainting.