Last modified: 2004-10-30 by phil nelson
Keywords: signal corps | military flags: canada |
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by Sgt. J. Field
A number of badges in the Canadian Forces (CF) have flags of one type or another on them. Primarily, they are badges associated with signals or communications. While most European nations seem to favour a variation on the lightning bolt, in Canada the tendency is to use either flags or a representation of Mercury (referred to as "Jimmy" by signalers in many, if not all, Commonwealth nations who use such a device).
At any rate, this is a photo of a CF badge. It was worn on the forearm of the (now obsolete) Garrison Dress jacket, by all Army signals personnel who had achieved Qualification Level (QL) 4 or On-Job Training (OJT) in their trade. A badge of the same basic design, except in brighter gold thread on a rifle-green felt backing, is still worn on the forearm of the Service Dress tunic.
QL3 or Apprentice-qualified personnel wear the two flags without any adornment; QL4 or OJT, as previously stated, wore flags with a wreath; QL5 or Journeyman-qualified personnel wear flags surmounted by St. Edward's Crown, no wreath; and QL6 or Supervisor-qualified personnel wear the flags, Crown and wreath. Any qualification training done beyond this point is usually done by Warrant Officers, who wear their rank on the lower sleeve, and thus do not wear the qualification badge.
The badge seems to predate the founding of the Canadian Corps of Signals. I purchased a brass version of the badge which supposedly was worn on the sleeve of linemen or signalmen with the Corps of Engineers during WWI, but I can find no confirmation of that yet. This badge has remained basically unchanged (except for material of manufacture) up until Unification of the
CF in the late 60s; it was revived in the late 80s with the re-adoption of the distinctive Army uniform in the late 80s. Trivial factoid: it was, and still is, the only "coloured" trade badge in the Army; all others are gold on green (or in the "olden days", light khaki on khaki).
John Field, 17 May 2000