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Old 02-15-2015, 08:23 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 921

Well, you could still say someone dropped the ball creatively, just at a much higher level! That said I'd still be pissed if they had changed it when they brought back the Divs (which 2nd Div did for some reason) - if it was good enough for 3rd Div when they landed on Juno beach, it's good enough for me now! The Brigade patches on the opposite shoulder are more elaborate, but I belong directly to the Division so I don't wear one.

Nothing wrong with a little military heraldry! There's actually a whole heraldic language to Commonwealth cap badges - starting with the most obvious, the crown - during the WW1 / WW2 period most units wore a Tudor Crown, associated with a King - now we were a St Edward's Crown, which is heart-shaped on top, associated with a Queen. However, some units wear a Ducal Coronet (it's only called a crown if it's worn by a ruling monarch) if they're associated with a specific member of the Royal family or nobility - a common example is the Prince of Wales' coronet, which is flatter on top and usually pictured with three feathers. Good example is the Welch Regiment in the center top of the British infantry badges.

On a more national level, when badges include wreathes of leaves (a common element), the leaves themselves change - English units wear Oak leaves, Scottish units Thistle, Canadian Maple leaves (of course) and New Zealand Fern leaves. As an example the Royal Canadian Engineers and British Royal Engineers badge is identical except for the leaves on the wreath and the title.

Different types of units often have specific elements in their badges, mainly in the infantry, even though by the 20th century they were all equipped and tasked the same:

-Fusilier regiments were originally tasked with guarding artillery and so almost always wear flaming cannon balls

-Light infantry regiments wear a curved hunter's horn because they were the first units to fight in dispersed order rather than in tight ranks and thus carried horns with which to relay orders

-Rifle regiments were considered light infantry, so they sometimes wear the horn, but also the Maltese cross because the rifle was adopted from the Germans. They're also always either blackened for concealment, or silver to match their Green uniforms (when the line infantry still wore red)

-Irish units almost always wear the harp - but whether it's a plain harp or an "angel" harp indicates whether it's southern Catholic or northern Protestant. See the Royal Ulster Rifles (2nd row left) and London Irish Rifles (4th row right)

-Scottish units usually have either the St Andrew's cross (X shaped) or St Andrew himself holding it - see pretty much all of the big Highland badges on the bottom of the frames!

-Lancer regiments wear crossed lances, for obvious reasons.

Often you'll also see local heraldic symbols, especially on British badges - the Staffordshire knot, the Yorkshire (silver representing white) or Lancaster (brass representing red) roses, the Manitoba Dragoon's bison.

Finally you often see certain symbols used to commemorate important battles in a regiment's history - many British regiments wear the Sphinx for service in the Battle of Alexandria in 1798, or the rock and key of Gibraltar for service in the Great Siege of Gibraltar during the American Revolution. The Royal Canadian Dragoons wear the springbok for their service in the Boer War, and the Royal Winnipeg Rifles were a devil for the Battle of Batoche, where captured Metis rebel prisoners asked "The redcoats we know, but who were the little black devils?".

Almost every badge has an interesting element or story behind it, which is why I find the hobby so interesting! It's also a lot cheaper than guns for a man in the middle of costly renovations!

Got a couple of US badges I imagine you guys would find more interesting than commonwealth - WW2 USMC EGA cap badge, and US Army enlisted Eagle cap badge:

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