Heraldry in plain sight

Heraldry in the United States
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Edward Hillenbrand
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Heraldry in plain sight

Postby Edward Hillenbrand » 23 Feb 2015, 17:27

I came up with this topic as a catch all for "odd" things that are sort of a potpourri of items that can very loosely fit under the heading of heraldry.

The first item is the unofficial rule in New York Emergency Medical Services (most definitely NOT endorsed by NYS DoH BEMS) that volunteer ambulances agencies wear their agency patch (Coat of Arms in some cases) on their right sleeve while paid agencies wear their agency logo on their left sleeve.

I have been told that this EMS tradition comes from the US Rangers where you may be assigned to the 75th Battalion during combat operations and thus wear a Ranger "Scroll" on your right sleeve even though you have never graduated Ranger school and thus have never earned the Ranger "Tab". However, if you have graduated Ranger school AND were assigned to the 75th then you may wear the Ranger scroll on your left sleeve. :mrgreen:

So please post other oddities that you know of that are generally a type of heraldic rule (real or perceived) hiding in plain sight.
Ed Hillenbrand

"Memento te esse Mortalum"

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Chris Green
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Re: Heraldry in plain sight

Postby Chris Green » 23 Feb 2015, 18:12

I must admit to being bemused by the number of similarly named emergency and law-enforcement services in the US. I surmise that the "NYS DoH BEMS" you refer to is this organisation:

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which uses the NY State CoA - a fine example of the seascape CoA if ever I saw one.

Whether this body is the "New York Emergency Medical Services" to which you refer I am not entirely sure:

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There is indeed a CoA hiding in plain sight - complete with supporters and crest too. I guess it is meant to be the NY State CoA.
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Edward Hillenbrand
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Re: Heraldry in plain sight

Postby Edward Hillenbrand » 23 Feb 2015, 19:21

The former. Alas the later is no more. NYC EMS was absorbed into FDNY about 15 years ago. And truth be told, there is no official New York State patch or badge, just the logo from whence your first patch came from. NY has issues. Just a few. ;)
Ed Hillenbrand

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JMcMillan
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Re: Heraldry in plain sight

Postby JMcMillan » 24 Feb 2015, 00:23

There are two cloth "Ranger" insignia that often get confused.

This is a Ranger "tab."

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It is worn at the top of the left sleeve by anyone who completes Ranger training, whether or not he is ever assigned to a Ranger unit.

These are Ranger "scrolls."

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This is the 75th Ranger Regiment equivalent of a divisional shoulder sleeve insignia. Either the regimental scroll or the appropriate battalion scroll is worn on the left sleeve below the Ranger tab by graduates of Ranger School who are currently assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment or one of its battalions. It is worn on the right sleeve by a soldier who served with the 75th Ranger Regt in combat, same as with divisional patches. (On the new-ish blue service dress, the "right arm patch" is won in metal form on the right breast pocket.)

Not heraldry related, but just to clear up the facts.
Joseph McMillan
Alexandra, Virginia, USA

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JMcMillan
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Re: Heraldry in plain sight

Postby JMcMillan » 24 Feb 2015, 00:31

Chris Green wrote:I must admit to being bemused by the number of similarly named emergency and law-enforcement services in the US. I surmise that the "NYS DoH BEMS" you refer to is this organisation:

which uses the NY State CoA - a fine example of the seascape CoA if ever I saw one.

Whether this body is the "New York Emergency Medical Services" to which you refer I am not entirely sure:

There is indeed a CoA hiding in plain sight - complete with supporters and crest too. I guess it is meant to be the NY State CoA.


The New York State BEMS is the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. As in most states, emergency medical services are run at the local, not statewide level. The BEMS is the bureau of the state Department of Health that regulates, certifies, and provides planning and funding support to local EMS agencies in the state. It doesn't run its own emergency response force. See https://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/ems/about.htm .

The coat of arms on the first patch is indeed that of the state. That on the second is a badly made representation of the arms of New York City. Despite the indistinguishable shield, you can (barely) tell them apart by the supporters, a sailor holding a sounding line and an Indian holding a bow. The state arms are supported by Liberty and Justice.
Joseph McMillan
Alexandra, Virginia, USA

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Edward Hillenbrand
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Re: Heraldry in plain sight

Postby Edward Hillenbrand » 24 Feb 2015, 01:08

Thanks Jim for clearing up my oversight on a tab vs a scroll. As to the NYC EMS patch recall that when that patch was made in the mid 90s embroidery was not as advanced as it is today, hence the rather poor quality NYC coat of arms.
Ed Hillenbrand

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