WHAT IS A MORALE PATCH?

Morale Patches are decorated on and around the 14er IFAK Pouch.

GET IN LOSER, we’re getting morale patches!

A morale patch is a decorative military badge adorned with imagery and expressions. Essentially, the patch is a playful symbolization of morale , or espirit de corps, which is a group’s ability to believe, in spite of adversity, in the objective or intuition that binds them together. Morale patches are often found on gear, garments, and patch boards.

We sell our very own cheeky collection of 14er 14-pack or 20-pack morale patches.

HISTORY OF MORALE PATCHES?

To summarize, the first iteration of morale patches was used to identify a soldier’s identity, military division, or country. With the mechanization that came from the Industrial Revolution, military morale patches became standardized and widespread. Although morale patches still serve this purpose, with time, they evolved into a source of tongue-in-cheek humor for soldiers to bond with and laugh at during hard times. Today, morale patches are used by the military, police, firefighters, and everyday badasses alike. If you would like to know more about how military morale patches have evolved over time, you can find a more detailed history here.

WHY DO MORALE PATCHES HAVE VELCRO?

While some military morale patches have the American flag or the insignia of a particular division, others are more creative. The obscenity of some modern morale patches makes them generally inappropriate on the field. Velcro patches are the perfect solution to this problem: the morale patches are put on when a soldier is chilling off duty, then removed faster than a gun from its holster once the times comes. Likewise, a red and white American flag can be easily replaced for a muted one that will not stand out against camouflage when a solider is on deployment. Velcro patches are easier to move, store, and collect on patch boards – essentially standardizing and popularizing the entire experience of using morale patches. Most uniforms, in fact, are manufactured to include patches to attach the Velcro to. Velcro – whether it is used on gear, clothing, or morale patch display boards – has become an essential part of the morale patch because of its simplicity and efficiency.

The front and back sides of a Velcro Morale Patch of the United States flag.

WHY IS THE USA FLAG WORN BACKWARDS ON MILITARY UNIFORMS?

A Backwards flying American Flag

If you know your military knowledge, you will know that this a trick question. Only some American flags are worn backwards on military uniforms: the ones worn on the right shoulder. Why, you ask? Little cadet, I can explain everything.

The position of the highest honor is always reserved for the array of white stars on the American flag. Usually, this position is at the top left. However, when we consider a moving object, like a flag, the highest honour is at the front, closest to the pole, rather than the rear, which blows freely behind in the wind. The white stars are therefore placed in the front, closest to the flagpole. This placement gives the impression of “assaulting forward,” symbolizing movement, with the emblem of power surging ahead and the stripes trailing behind. There’s plenty more flag etiquette where that came from.

As for USA flags placed on military uniforms, the white stars must still face the front in the position of highest honor. If the center of the chest is the flagpole, the stars must face forward, towards the middle, so that the red and white stripes trail behind, as if blowing in the wind. When the solider assaults forward, so do the stars on the uniform. Therefore, while the flag on the left shoulder is straight, the one on the right is reversed.

RUNNING OUT OF ROOM FOR MORALE PATCHES?

If you have morale patches coming out the wazoo, there comes a time when you realize that you need to do something with them. “Too many patches” is not a problem, but a challenge. With an impressive collection, morale patch display boards are one of the best ways to show off. A morale patch display board, however, is not the only option available to you: there are plenty of other methods to display your morale patches. For example, morale patches are a great way to liven up a piece of clothing, backpack, lunch bag , or patch board hung up on your living room wall

A side view of the 14er Morale Patch Panel.

Now tell me, how big is your collection?

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