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VFW National Headquarters Badge


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Forth Image:


Another characteristic of early VFW badges concerns the suspension ribbon width. Several sizes have been noted. It is believed that many early societies had ribbons of varying widths to fit the design of their badge. It was America's experience in WWI that caused the military to standardize and restrict the wearing of badges on the uniform. At the same time, veteran societies were adopting a current military look to their society uniforms and this required a general shift in ribbon widths toward the military standard of 1-3/8 inch so members could wear their veteran membership ribbon with their newly won military ribbons.


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  • 8 months later...

Have recently acquired a better version of the VFW membership badge with the 'upright US'. This is the second of this style badge I have and both are:


Plain bronze with VFW logo on front.


The wrap around title VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS US has the US inverted to be upright and readable to the viewer.


The reverse is smooth--a variation usually found on enameled and/or gold filled badges only--with letters NH-VFW impressed in the lower left corner.


This badge also had a Past Officer title bar with the reverse stamped NAT'L HDQRS, VFW, and the number 5.


Reference: Posting 17 and 19.


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  • 11 years later...

I realize this is an older thread, but I have found it very helpful and I wanted to give back.


Attached is a spreadsheet I threw together from some scans that VFW National HQ sent me the yesterday. This is from the 1929 By-Laws





Bobby "Chief" Welch

State Jr. Vice Commander

Department of Illinois

Veterans of Foreign Wars

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Hi, Bobby,


Thank you for your post! I had no idea that current and past VFW officers wore the rank strap at the top of the ribbon. As mentioned previously, organizations like the G.A.R. and the U.S.W.V. moved the strap to the middle of the ribbon when denoting a member was a past officer. The color change for the background is a nice, visual means of denoting past from present. The difference to the 19th and 20th century veterans' organizations is that they did not incur an extra manufacturing cost for their past officers insignia.


Circling back to the first post on this thread, it looks like the original badge, having 4 silver stars on a red background, is for a Past National Commander in Chief.


Thank you again for providing this information!



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Kansas Raider

Have you guys seen this one before? It was in a collection that belonged to a member of the 22nd Kansas Infantry in the Spanish American War. It has a maker mark of B.B. & B. On the botom drop on the back has VFW National Headquarters




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The Suspension bar and ribbon drape match the attached picture of the Spanish American War Veterans membership badge. (sourced from a google search)


In 1904, the Spanish War Veterans, the Spanish American War Veterans and the Servicemen of the Spanish War joined to form the United Spanish War Veterans.


The Cross of Malta looks to be from post-ww1. The "national headquarters" on the reverse, the addition of "of U.S." in the seal and the larger shield on the eagle all match one I have dated to 1934 (plus or minus a year)

but the deep V between the points of the cross does not match the one I have which is less pronounced, unless there were several manufactures at that time. I will attach a pic tomorrow.


It would be pure speculation on my part as to why the two were married together... personal preference maybe?


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As promised, here is one of my favorite pieces from my collection. All original packaging **note the 1932 3c stamp** I used this to determine the approximate age of this badge. VFW Post 2724 is still active in Whiting, IN.


Belay my last on the seals matching however... I did not have it in hand until just now.


I do have 4 that have Identical obverses to yours and yet 2 of them say "VFW NAT'L HQDTRS" and 2 say "VFW KC KANS" on the reverse... KC KANS are assumed to be the older version, pre-1930's since that is the time frame that National HQ moved to Kansas City, MO. (examples attached)



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  • 2 weeks later...

Found some more information on the Officer's Insignia for the VFW, this comes from the 1921 By-Laws and helps confuse the subject even more at the Department Level. National and Post seem to be unchanged compared to the 1929 By-Laws, minus the addition of officers. Since Departments were first made official at the 1920 Encampment in Washington, D.C. it seems only fitting that there would be some growing pains through the 1920's



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Attached are scans of the 1921 By-Laws, Article XXIII.


Section 2 should help date the badges that have the different corps insignia along with the Navy and Marine Corps versions.








Some more information to help date some of the badges:

The badges that have K.C. KANS on the reverse... National Headquarters was moved from New York City sometime after June 26th, 1923 to Kansas City, KS until it moved again on January 1st, 1930 to Kansas City, MO.

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This is a great post. I been a member of the VFW for several years, but did not know about there medals. I will never forget whiting IN. I got stuck there in the big snow storm of 1967. sure could of used there VFW.

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