Heraldry of the Patch

Civil Air Patrol Seal
Civil Air Patrol Seal

As the Auxiliary of the United States Air Force and operating out of Hanscom Air Force Base Hanscom Composite Squadron Members wear specific patches on their uniforms.


The official seal of Civil Air Patrol contains an Eagle surrounded by thirteen stars. The eagle represents the United States and command of the skies. The thirteen stars represent the original colonies with the three stars above the eagle representing the Department of Defense; Army, Navy and Air Force.


Hanscom Composite Squadron (HSC) patch contains three stars that represent the three missions of Civil Air Patrol; Emergency Services, Aerospace Education and Cadet Programs. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is shown as HSC is part of the Massachusetts Wing and the airplane, which represents our airborne search and rescue mission, faces Northeast representing the Northeast Region that the Mass Wing belongs to.


In Medieval times, a Herald needed to be able to identify a knight in armor by the insignia worn on his coat over a suit of armor. This is where the term “coat of arms” comes from and the heraldic traditions are carried on today and can be seen on a town seal, or the patches worn by police and fire for example as well as the uniforms of Civil Air Patrol.


Next time you see a patch worn on the shoulder, take a closer look at the heraldry and the meaning behind the symbols.


The insignia worn provide a sense of identity and pride and Hanscom Composite Squadron is proud to be of service to the community.


Semper Vigilans (Always Vigilant)

2nd Lt Eric Classen

Public Affairs Officer

Hanscom Composite Squadron



To find out more about Emergency Services, Cadet Programs and Aerospace Education, please visit www.hanscomcap.org andwww.gocivilairpatrol.com. You do not need to be a pilot to get involved. Just a desire to help your community in this rewarding program.


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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