Photo Gallery: Squadron’s new standard unfurled at RAF Honington in ceremony which takes place every 25 years

The new standard is blessed by RAF's most senior chaplain, Air Vice Marshal, the Venerable Ray Pentl

The new standard is blessed by RAF's most senior chaplain, Air Vice Marshal, the Venerable Ray Pentland. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

A new chapter in the history of a Suffolk-based RAF squadron was opened this afternoon.

No 1 Squadron, based at RAF Honington, took charge of its new standard in a ceremony which occurs once every 25 years.

In what was one of his final duties before retirement, air chief marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, chief of the air staff and a former flying squadron commander at the base, presented the standard.

The chaplain in chief, air vice marshal the Venerable Ray Pentland, consecrated the colours at a Drumhead Ceremony which forms part of the proceedings.

He said: 'May this colour never be unfurled save in the cause of justice, righteousness and truth.'

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The ceremony dates back centuries to when soldiers on the battlefield paraded on three sides of a hollow square and the drummers on the fourth side.

The drummers pile their drums in the shape of a pyramid to make an altar and drape it in the regimental colours to form a church altar.

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No. 1 squadron's new standard was laid on the drums and unfurled in an hour-long ceremony of drills, marches and a fly past.

Former squadron commanders, warrant officers, veterans and families watched on as the squadron said farewell to their previous standard which served them through Iraq in 2003.

A Hawk jet flew overhead while music was provided by the band of the RAF Regiment.

Sir Stephen Dalton said: 'It is truly a great honour to present you with this standard in this year.

'The great thing about this squadron is its operational pedigree.'

And he praised the squadron for its performance during the parade, saying: 'You can be very proud of the standard of drill you have demonstrated.'

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