An Explanation On the Origin of Sheriff Badges
Sheriff’s badges have a long history that goes back to medieval times, when knights would wear their coat of arms as a symbol of authority. In modern times this image still holds, as sheriff badges are seen as a sign of authority by many. While it’s a popular tale that badges at one time were thought to be a type of protection against evil, sheriff badges actually take on a far more practical application in America. Sheriff badges are typically meant to be worn by those that are of the highest moral caliber and are essentially incorruptible, but as time has gone on things have changed. While the meaning behind sheriff badges hasn’t changed, the regard that they once were given has indeed been altered by social perception.
Early societies often saw the sign of the star as having magical qualities, and anyone that wore this symbol could protect others and ward off evil influences. Such beliefs were highly popular back in early times and were highly influential among society. After the coming of Christianity, the use of the star continued, as it was often meant to convey power. Long ago the early colonies used the star symbol in order to denote authority and to convey a sense of justice to the people. There were no strenuous requirements to wear the star in those days however, and as one can imagine, those that wore them were not always of the highest moral caliber.
Following its emergence as a country, America continued to use the star-shaped badges, but they were only used by those departments that could afford the cost of them. Smaller departments didn’t make use of badges since people were known to each other, and as such their authority was not questioned among their own ranks. As immigrants began to enter into the country, this practice changed as more people meant there was a need for identification. As such, badges became a standard part of the police uniform.
The star symbol became used very prominently in the western states, as officers would make their badges from tin cans and other metal. It would appear that star badges were far easier to produce than circles or shields, and thus the use of the star badge gained even more support. It was still seen as a symbol of protection, as many sheriffs in the west were known to be famed lawmen that were often direct and unwavering in their accepted duty. At one point, the name of their department was inscribed on the badge, but this was often very expensive.
The 7-point star badges are a more modern design
Sheriff badges have continued to be customized over the years
Anyone can buy custom badges online as part of a collection, but the cost is usually quite steep depending on the design and the materials used. Those that serve with a department are advised in many ways to keep their sheriff badges clean and maintained. Such sites can create badges for any department and can produce sheriff belt buckles and other such items that people might want to wear to show their support. Typically it’s best to know what’s allowed by law and what is considered unwise to wear on your person since a sheriff badge is typically used to show authority and impersonating a police officer is an offense punishable by law.
There’s nothing illegal about buying sheriff badges however, and the 7-point star badges, which are among the most historical of the lot, are easily provided by certified retailers that can produce just about any item a person is willing to pay for. It is recommended that a person collecting sheriff badges at least study their history when attempting to collect badges from various time periods and those of different styles, if only because it honors the history and tradition of the badge. Star badges have been around for quite some time and are an integral part of America’s law enforcement, as symbolism has come to mean a great deal to this country and what it stands for.