RNZAF celebrates 75th anniversary
Swords were drawn and bayonets fixed as the ceremonial flags flew high through the streets of Auckland this morning as the Royal New Zealand Air Force celebrated their 75th anniversary.
A military parade of more than 200 men and women marched through the city streets as Mayor Len Brown presented a new Auckland Charter to the RNZAF.
Brown and Chief of Air Force, air vice-marshal Peter Stockwell reviewed the parade as military aircraft performed a flypast around 9.45am.
The custom of granting a freedom charter of a city through a Charter dates back to the middle ages when kings used to divide their kingdoms between a few nobles responsible for providing armed men.
The elements of the Charter refer to the right to march through the street with drums beating, colours unfurled, swords drawn and bayonets fixed.
Today, the granting of the freedom of a city is a way for the Mayor to express a close relationship between Auckland and the RNZAF.