Thank you for the reply.
I believe it was Brig. General Preston Brown (Oct 1918?) that designed the final or agreed upon 3rd Division insignia. The regulation 3-white stripes represented the three major operations preceding the signing of the armistice Marne, St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argone. In addition, 3 stripes were representation for the third division.
I am beginning to believe that this is a tailorís error, similar to minting errors seen in coinage or other mass-produced items. People make errors and this may be one of them. Up to this time, the few people that have contacted me regarding this patch have never seen one and feel that it is legitimate but solely a seamstress error. Can you imagine the guy that showed up for inspection wearing this his shoulder.
Anyway, if anyone out there can assist or have seen something along the line of this patch, please let me know.Thanks again, I appreciate all constructive comments and ideas.
While true. There also are truly no REAL standardized WWI patches. Standardized patches were not permitted for wearing until 1919 when they became regulation.
This is probably not a "tailor's" error perse the doughboy who had it made probably designed it himself and incorporated the four stripes for the four campaigns they were engaged in. The tailor just made it the way the doughboy wanted it.