THE MEANING BEHIND THE GWINNETT COUNTY COMPOSITE SQUADRON PATCH
Now that the Squadron Patch is a reality, it is appropriate to reflect on the patch design, the meaning behind its symbols, and what it should mean to those who wear this shield.
The patch carries the obvious symbols that many have seen associated before with Civil Air Patrol. The eagle mounts the CAP shield, together becoming the CAP crest. It is visible on our buttons, hat insignia, and blazer jacket to name a few. It is a modification of the US military emblem/standard of today with the exception of the lightning bolt and arrows held in the talons. And, of course, it lies at the heart of this nation's image.
The plane is the same as that of the Emergency Services Patch, telling of our missions of mercy for our countrymen and of our coastal patrol duties during World War II and today.
The two stars could be said to stand for the two cornerstones of CAP, its seniors and cadets, its past and its future.
But these images imply something more than the above obvious and immediate meaning, and it is the unconscious use of these symbols that I wish to share.
The eagle, from the dawn of recorded time, has been an ancient symbol for celestial power. With it in one's mind's eye, we are able to overcome the downward pull of psychic gravity and rise above our limitations - soaring ever upward towards the light. The eagle was used also as the sun symbol in many lands, a symbol of light and illumination of consciousness. It came to stand for many as an image of the luminous sky
The stars are on opposite sides of the eagle, on each side of the luminous day. They represent the morning and evening stars, the dawn and the dusk. They have also from man's beginnings stood for those that rose above the common man, those heroes that dared ascend to the heights and were immortalized in the stars.
Finally, the airplane. The perfect symbol of man’s dreams. To dream of things thought impossible, and then to make than possible is what fuels heroes today. Not all heroes take to the air, but those in Civil Air Patrol are heroes on the wing.
To me the Squadron Patch says this:
From dawn to dusk, through the luminous sky, the heroes of Civil Air Patrol fly.
Civil Air Patrol flies with courage, with conviction, and with honor. CAP members are the unsung heroes of todayTake pride in CAP, be proud of the heroes that you are, and wear the Gwinnett County Squadron Patch with the same pride. But more importantly, live in its ideals, dare to dream, dare to fly above the rest.
God bless - Major J.D. Sander