RAF / Mod Roundel Enamel Cufflinks
For those with an affinity for either the RAF or Mod culture (perhaps a pilot or a scooter rider), these novelty cufflinks are a very classy gift. Cufflinks are still used daily by those who prefer the French (or double) cuff on their shirts, but for many cufflinks are now a special gift for formal wear at weddings, dinners or similar events. Provided in an attractive presentation box.
The Royal Air Force (RAF), which was formed in the UK towards the end of the First World War (1918), was the first and largest military air force in the world. It has had a crucial role – in particular through the success of the Battle of Britain campaign of the Second World War.
Known as a Roundel, the three UK air forces (Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, Army Air Corps and Royal Air Force) all use this circular identifier on their aircraft and have done so since 1915. At the start of the First World War in 1914, military protocol was to fire on all aircraft. Some clear, simple, marking was therefore required to distinguish friendly aircraft from enemy aircraft. The Union Flag was tried, but at distance this resembled the enemy’s Iron Cross markings; instead, a French tricolour cockade (a rosette of red, white and blue) was adapted by reversing the colour sequence. A further adaptation followed in 1917, adding a white outline to help the roundel stand out.
Mod subculture began in the UK in the 1960s. Initially formed around the music, fashion and scooters of stylish young men in late 1950s London; they were called ‘modernists’ due to their fondness for modern jazz. From the 1960s, the term broadened out to include anything popular, fashionable and modern. Mod style itself continued through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, customising and appropriating several existing styles, symbols and artefacts. The Royal Air Force roundel was one of those adopted icons – appearing as part of their pop art fashion.