stem and clasp or pin and catch – for attaching to a garment. Frequently insignia are trimmed to their distinctive shape and infrequently have enamel to provide color or further distinction. Military insignia indicating rank are typical examples.In a somewhat broader sense, a medallic insignia is a three-dimension graphic symbol rendered into three dimensions, but one created originally in modulated relief. It often becomes the more important symbol of an organization or event, should they have a graphic symbol as well, or the three-dimensional insignia is expressed in a graphic form. Creating a medallic insignia was often the first work of contemporary sculptors commissioned by an organization or institution. Once this symbol was established, the sculptor would prepare a bust or relief of the founders, then move on to prepare anniversary medals and such. The insignia would then appear on these sculptural objects, often as a subsidiary device. American military insignia are under the control and creation of the Institute of Heraldry. Insignia is a Latin-derived term from episemon, an early form of badge.
excerpted with permission from
For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators
COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY D. WAYNE JOHNSON
Roger W. Burdette, Editor