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The Wing Patch

The Arkansas Wing Patch

22 February 2020

New Wing Emblem and Heraldry

The Arkansas Wing shield was created with the following goals in mind:

  1. The shield should represent the Civil Air Patrol and our missions.

  2. The shield should represent our ties and support to the state of Arkansas.

  3. The shield should represent the Wing’s significant historical actions, and therefore should draw some symbolism from the two former wing emblems.

  4. The shield should look professional, yet remain simple with strong symbols, and members should be proud to wear it as the wing patch.

  5. The shield should be unique and not be composed of any college or university mascots in order to avoid being divisive.

  6. The shield should be in compliance with the Civil Air Patrol and U.S. Air Force guidelines for heraldry.

This was a highly discriminating, multi-year endeavor which resulted in dozens of designs being produced by a number of Arkansas Wing members. This process has culminated with the design of the following shield with accompanying symbolism:

Arkansas River:  

A broad blue bar runs from the top left to the bottom right of the shield. The bar represents the Arkansas River, a major tributary which flows across the entire state from the Ozark Plateau highlands in the northwest to the Mississippi Delta plains in the southeast, where it joins the Mississippi River. Its prominence in the physical geography of the state is represented by its placement on the shield.

The wing’s first major mission occurred with the Arkansas River Floods of 1943. During this event, the wing performed a wide range of tasks including carrying U.S. mail, patrolling levees from the air and on the ground, transporting critical parts and personnel, spotting people stranded by the floodwaters, and conducting aerial photography. Disaster response remains a major component of Arkansas Wing operations, with the wing recently supporting the state during the historical Arkansas River flooding that occurred May/June 2019.

Diamonds:

Arkansas is home to the only active diamond mine in the United States and contains the only publicly-accessible diamond field in the world at Crater of Diamonds State Park. For many years, it was the only known source of diamonds in the United States, and this is represented by the prominent diamond in the state flag. For this reason, the diamond is a well-known symbol for the state, and is the state gemstone.

The broad blue bar representing the Arkansas River, contains three silver diamond shapes evenly spaced. These diamonds, referred to as a “lozenge” in heraldry, carry several meanings:

  • The diamond is the state gemstone of Arkansas, with legislation Act 128 in 1967.

  • There are three diamonds, representing:

    • The three missions of Civil Air Patrol

    • Arkansas is the third state by charter number (03), which is still represented in our wing call signs for aircraft and vehicles. 

    • In the state’s own history, Arkansas was the third state created from the Louisiana Purchase, and three nations ruled over Arkansas before it achieved statehood in 1836 (Spain, France and the United States).

  • The three diamonds also serve as a nod to the CAP Cadet Program

Civil Air Patrol Roundel:

The shield displays the roundel used during World War II by the Civil Air Patrol, to represent the organization. This roundel was also on the original Arkansas Wing patch and serves as a historical tie. Its placement within a red field in the upper right corner of the shield provides aesthetic balance in the shield with the other symbols.

Arkansas State Flag:

In the lower-left portion of the shield, in a white field, are four blue stars. Their pattern is similar to their layout on the Arkansas state flag. In conjunction with the blue bar and the red upper field of the shield, these items combine to represent a stylized partition of the Arkansas state flag. This represents the wing’s commitment and support to the state, as well as utilizing an element from the previous wing emblem.

Coloration:

The shield is composed of five colors, and all (sans white) are matched to the Civil Air Patrol colors in accordance with CAPR 900-2. Their meanings on the emblem are:

  • Red, White, and Blue – These colors together represent patriotism and support of the United States and the state of Arkansas, as well as reflecting the colors of both of their flags.

  • Blue and Yellow – The colors of the United States Air Force appear in the design, representing our relationship with and support of the branch with which we are affiliated as an auxiliary. The blue represents “the sky”, the primary theater of operations, while yellow represents “the sun” and the excellence required of personnel.

  • Silver/Gray – represents our volunteerism and dedication to the organization and reflects the silver-gray background color of the Civil Air Patrol seal.

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