The History and Significance of the Police Badge


Have you ever wondered where police badges got their start? Or who decided that the police needed police badges? Police badges are symbolic and necessary to recognize members of the police force. Here is a quick history of police badges and why they’re a significant part of every police uniform.

Where Badges Got Their Start

The first current police badge, according to the Washington, D.C. Police Memorial and Museum, was used in London in 1845. However, badges identifying people as a means of security started in medieval times. A knight or other member of an aristocratic household, designated as a defender, wore a badge with the aristocrats’ coat of arms. The early badges and the badges of modern times had the same purpose as they identified the wearer as part of a group tasked with ensuring safety and following the rules.

Early American Law Enforcement Badges

As far back as early settlers arriving in the United States, badges were used to identify law enforcement officials. The iconic star shape forever became associated with law enforcement in the wild west. Gold and silver stars had different significance in days gone by since the badge color for law enforcement indicated rank and power. The badge became a talisman of sorts and identified law enforcement officers and protected them somewhat from the day’s violence. Harming a law enforcement officer wearing a badge comes with very stiff penalties.

Today’s Police Badges

Today, police badges still hold the same significance they always have. They are a symbol of group membership intending on defending a community. They identify police officers as peace officers that are there to help citizens. Police badges are symbols that inform, protect, and designate officials. To wear a police badge today, you must earn the right through proper training. It’s illegal for an average citizen that doesn’t have special permission to wear a copy of a police badge. Each police badge is numbered with a unique number assigned to the officer that wears the badge.

A badge is worn with pride because must be earned. It honors those that choose to protect and serve their communities. Police badges are richly symbolic and meaningful. A high-quality badge is more than a uniform accessory. It’s an important affirmation for every police officer that they belong to a team. If you’re looking for high-quality badges to represent your police force, give us a call today!