The official badge of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) was adopted on 23 August 1949 as a result of an inquiry by the Building Surveyor of Hobart, Tasmania. The surveyor wished to incorporate a naval symbol in a design for the Hobart Cenotaph. The badge was derived from a Navy office booklet, ‘Advice to Personnel’, ‘The Navy List’, and a rubbing from the badge displayed on the glass doors on the ground floor of the Coventry Street entrance at the Navy Office in Melbourne.
The description of the approved design was announced in Navy Order 262/1949.
The Tudor (King’s) Crown topped a left-handed rope surround with a knotted section in its base. In the centre of the badge was a stockless chain-cabled anchor. Four dots were placed between the words 'Royal Australian Navy', and on either side of a Federation Star.
The 1949 badge was amended on 3 December 1957 (NO 1149/1957) by substituting the St Edwards (Queen’s) Crown for the Tudor Crown and right-hand in place of left-hand roping.
On 16 July 1968, the knotted rope surround was replaced with a plain oval rope and the four dots that had appeared between the words ‘Royal Australian Navy’ and the Federation Star were removed.
Some believe that the four dots from the original rubbing could have been the mounting screw holes that secured the badge to the door.
The current official badge, introduced in 2002, has had a slight change since the development of the 1968 badge. The main change was in the spacing of the words ‘Royal Australian Navy’ to move them closer together.