What’s more British than a Spitfire?

Nothing, apparently. When designer Jeremy Fisher was creating a new logo for exclusive tailor English Cut, he wanted an image which defined “The Best of British”.

A BBC story — reminiscent of the Australian values debate — suggested everything from gin and tonic to the National Health Service. But Fisher chose the iconic Spitfire fighter aircraft of WWII.

New English Cut logo

‘British’ used to be a byword for quality, trust, craftsmanship and innovation,” he says.

Thanks to Gaping Void for the pointer.

7 Replies to “What’s more British than a Spitfire?”

  1. Well, the Spitfire certainly represents “Cajones” to me… Not sure if “British” still does, though. Society’s gotten very soft, squidgy and squeamish in the last 50 years or so…. but that’s true of most Western Europe.

  2. I hear there’s a campaign to get the designer of the Spitfire, Reginald Mitchell, a posthumous knighthood.

    It’s probably an aeronautical urban legend, but Mitchell supposedly said ‘Spitfire’ was a ‘bloody silly’ name for his aircraft.

  3. Does a “very soft, squidgy and squeamish” society need a decent war to “toughen’em up”? Indeed, is that what the War on Terror is about, creating the myth of the enemy because society is now “too soft”? That’s actually the stated aim of some of the Neo-Cons, at least according to the very watchable (and free to download!) _The Power of Nightmares_

  4. *Richard*, according to the ever-trustworthy [coughs] Wikipedia:

    bq. Vickers (the parent company of Supermarine) first came up with the name Shrew for the new aircraft and, on hearing this, Mitchell is reported to have said, “…sort of bloody silly name they would give it.” The name Spitfire was suggested by Sir Robert MacLean, director of Vickers at the time, who called his daughter Ann “A little spitfire”. The word dates from Elizabethan times and refers to a particularly fiery, ferocious type of person, usually a woman. The name had previously been used unofficially for Mitchell’s earlier F.7/30 Type 224 design.

    So there you go!

  5. Thanks for clarifying that.

    ‘Shrew’ is a lousy name for a fearsome fighter aircraft!

    Mind you, many of the RAF’s aircraft had pleasant-sounding, pastoral names ‘between the wars’, like ‘Grebe’ andr ‘Flycatcher’.

    Funny how they got more aggressive in the ’40s: ‘Brigand’, ‘Firebrand’, ‘Tempest’ etc.

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