The Club has just celebrated London Motor Week and in this 120th anniversary year of the Club’s founding, here are some literary references to the Club’s badge(s) – the clearest of symbols as to our identity.
RAC Chief Executive, Arthur Large, commented in the 1980s on the importance of ‘seeking and enhancing authority through the logo in maintaining the Club’s position as the premier motoring organisation… and on colour standards as an integral part of corporate identity [including] the standardisation of RAC Red and RAC Blue’ – a position which still applies today.
Having ‘secured His Majesty King Edward VII’s approval … with alterations carried out in accordance with his suggestions’ (Club Journal, 1907), the Full Member’s badge has undergone relatively few major modifications since then, but the subtlety of many minor modifications over the life of the badge has warranted robust research and reliable reference works.
My immediate predecessor as Club Librarian, Joan Williamson, wrote a succinct monograph on the Club’s badges nearly 20 years ago. Being the custodian of a full set of Full Member and Associate badges, she was in a good position to compare and contrast their entire history up to the point of writing. [The design of the Full Member’s badge today has not changed at all for many years; the Associate’s to a small extent.] Clearly laid out, nicely illustrated, the book is a good read on the evolution of the Club’s badge, some general history of the Club, and the badges of some affiliated clubs.
Later, the remarkable Swedish collector and author, academician one might add, Jan Särnesjö, published firstly his magnum opus on badges worldwide, before some years later following that up with a substantial volume on the United Kingdom alone, with badges of the Club and other organisations spawned by the Club occupying a substantial part of that volume – as you might expect.
An essential reference resource for Club Heritage staff and enjoyable dipping for all.