The American Legion Emblem

The History and meaning behind the emblem

The American Legion Emblem History

Throughout the 90-year history of The American Legion, one of the organization's most familiar symbols has been its emblem, which was adopted by the Legion on June 9, 1919 and patented on December 9 of that same year.

 

Eric Fisher Wood was listed on the patent papers as the inventor, though later turned the patent rights over to the Legion.

 

The emblem incorporated the "Victory" button (designed by A.A. Weinman of Forest Hills, N.Y.), which served as the discharge button for World War 1 veterans. Also in the emblem are the Soldier's Star, the Victor's wreath and the letters "U.S.", which appears at the center.

 

The American Legion's Manual of ceremonies contains the following description of the emblem: It stands for God and country, and the rights of man. Of its several parts, each has a meaning.

 

The rays of the sun that form the background are emblematic of the principles of the American Legion - loyalty, justice, freedom and democracy and will dispel the darkness, hatred, violence, strife and evil.

 

The two gold rings around the field of blue, bearing our name, symbolize two of our four main objectives: rehabilitation of our sick and diseased comrades, and care for the children of America.

 

Within our rings is placed a wreath for remembrance of those who died so that liberty might live.

 

Upon the wreath is a star, reflecting the glory of victory and promising to the world perpetuation of those cardinal principles of our organization.

 

Set upon the star are two bronze rings that typify the other two of our four main objectives: a better and more loyal Americanism, and service to the community, state and nation.

 

The inscription demands that the wearer ever guard the sanctity of home, country and free institutions.

 

It's believed there is no significance to the dots that separate the two rings surrounding the "U.S." in the center of the emblem.

 

Originally, the emblem button was priced to sell for 25 cents. The official seal of the Legion was to be an adaptation of this button-seal.

 

Thus began the continual duty of the Legion's national headquarters to make the emblem a visible symbol of the organization, signaling the public service orientation of the many activities in which it is displayed.