The History of the Military Patches

Army patches set. Military insignias, soldier camouflage badges, USA force emblems. Isolated vector illustrations with text, shield, stars, wings, targets

Battles are as old as it is human. Since the first generations back in time, people had different opinions and intentions. As society grew, the increasing population was the reason for dealing with the first disagreements. Today, we have stronger society groups and those less strong what was the case also in old times.

First battles didn’t have many organizations and many people, but over time, people made strategies including more people, so the military becomes a necessary organization for the societies, empires, and kingdoms of the time.

Today we are witnessing a very large number of military around the world who practice every day and use their uniforms. Those uniforms include military patches that serve to differentiate one military organization from another.

First uniforms

Today is known to people that, in the Roman era, people used to wear uniforms that had all different kinds of insignia, badges, and patches. It was important to differentiate one group from another, and this was the first idea. When the battle starts, it’s hard to know with whom you are fighting, and also, there is no time to think is a person in front of you from your group or not.

In history, all battle was face to face, they didn’t have any weapons to fight from a distance, so the patches made an important role. Patches were worn on shoulders, sleeves, and shirts to be easily seen.

Time When American Troops Adopted the Use of the Patches

Americans started to use patches because of their effective way to communicate at the time of the Civil War. At that time, patches weren’t produced in factories because embroidery machines didn’t exist at that time. Every patch was made by hand, which leads that each of them was unique. Family members of the soldiers made those for them, so it was made with a lot of love and care.

Military Patches Hitting Their Stride

Because of the required by hand embroidery, first patches were used in little amount, but that was changed soon. The Industrial Revolution changed a lot of things in people’s lives because a large amount of the products were able to be manufactured thanks to the brand new machines.

In the period of World War One, the first tactical patches were made by machines. They had nice sewing and embroidery; the appearance was equable. Patches become identification objects which showed affiliation. With little imaginations, patches had different kinds of insignia that will be recognizable, so they included lines, animal pictures, and similar. Some of the first patches are today kept by collectors. Those patches have been passed down from generation to generation.

World War Two Patches

World War Two Era was different from previous designs because it included brighter colors like red, blue, and green. Those colors were a norm and very loved by children who loved to collect them. After World War Two, patches got different designs, a little bit subdued for better blending into a soldier’s uniform. That period was the start of the Vietnam War.

After some time, using custom patches came into a practice of the other government agencies, and one of them was NASA. The patches in NASA changed over time and each space mission. So the patches were used to symbolize every new success.


Patches are much-loved objects by people and children, and they symbolize strength and pride. Many people like to collect them as showing support and compassion to the military.

Many patches from different historical eras are unique and interesting to watch because of the way it was made. Making by hand makes embroidery very beautiful with stronger meaning.

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