The Indianhead Patch

Living Patch

The 2d Infantry Division "Indianhead" patch is one of the most recognized unit emblems in the U.S. Army because of its distinctive design and 78 years of proud service by warriors.

The origin of the patch goes back to the earliest days of the division's history. While training with the French in 1917, Col. Herringshaw of the Service and Support Supply of the 2d Infantry Division Noticed that the French trucks were marked with symbols representing the unit which it belonged. He sponsored a contest among his men to design a symbol for his trucks. There were three winners: first prize winner was a design featuring an Indianhead; second prize went to a plain white star and the third prize is lost in history.

The Colonel was not completely satisfied and it is believed that, by chance, he combined the two symbols of the white star and Indianhead and liked what he saw. Some theories say that the single star represents the state of Texas, while others claim the star is from the American Flag.

IndianheadRegardless, the design was sent to the command headquarters for approval. Brig. General Omar Bundy, division commander, not only approved the symbol, but also ordered it put on his staff car. The size and shape of the patch changed in October 1918 when Maj. General John A. LeJeune, the new division commander, decided the color of the cloth behind each patch should represent the different divisional units. After World War I, the background of the patch was adopted from the design on the American Shield. In World War II, it finally took the shape, size and color it has today.