The Virginia National Guard introduced a new shoulder patch for the Joint Force Headquarters during a ceremony Sept. 30, 2021, at the VANG Headquarters at Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. The new insignia was authorized Sept. 21 by the Department of the Army Institute of Heraldry.
"This new insignia is a better representation of Virginia National Guard history with colors linked to the Continental Army and our nation's fight for independence during the Revolutionary War," explained Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. "The Virginia state crest dating back to 1776 is a key element of the design, and the crest has been featured on Virginia National Guard regimental unit colors since World War I."
Williams and Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Smith, the Virginia Army National Guard command sergeant major, presented the patch to approximately 50 Soldiers during the ceremony. Additional patches will be ordered and distributed to VANG unit supply rooms in the coming months, and it should be available in the supply system in about a year. The old shoulder patch is authorized for wear until the new patch is issued. Virginia Air National Guard personnel assigned to the JFHQ will also wear the new patch.
According to the Institute of Heraldry, the previous shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved in November 1956. The new patch very closely resembles a shoulder patch proposed for the 29th ID’s 54th Field Artillery Brigade in 1940 by BG William Sands, the brigade commander. The design was still in the approval process when the VANG was mobilized in 1941, at which time all efforts were focused on training and preparing for war.
The Institute of Heraldry official description indicates the new insignia is "on a blue five-sided polygon tapered and pointed at top, within a 1/8 inch khaki border, a narrow border garnished on the upper and two lower points by a dogwood blossom all in white, overall and upon a wreath of twists alternating white and red, 'Virtus the genius of the Commonwealth dressed as an Amazon, resting on a spear with one hand and holding a sword in the other; and treading on Tyranny, represented by a man prostrate, a crown falling from his head, a broken chain in his left hand and a scourge in his right' in khaki, 3 5/16 inches in height and 2 5/8 in width overall."
On the full color insignia, the colors khaki and blue are from the uniform of Gen. George Washington, one of our nation's founding fathers and life-long Virginian. The flowering dogwood is both the official Virginia state flower and tree. The crest is from the state seal adopted on July 5, 1776. The red and white twists on a blue background make up our national colors.
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