What the heck are these patches?
November 20, 2010 8:46 PM   Subscribe

Patch Identification Challenge!

So I have this picture of a person and I'm trying to figure out what all the patches on their jacket are. I've got most of them, and narrowed it down to two which I'm having trouble with. I'm not posting their picture (for privacy reasons) but I've managed to come up with crude reproductions of the patches in question, which I've posted thusly:

Patch 1
Patch 2

Now the first one is a true mystery to me. The second is one that I'm sure I should recognize, but the bottom of the patch is cut off in the picture and I can't quite remember what it should be.

Google fails me. I tried a couple of reverse image search engines, but they were no better. I'm actually not sure where else to look, since I have literally no context for these patches. Oh, except that two of the other ones are the French and Belgian flags.

So, O Hive Mind, I turn to you: what are these mystery insignia? It's burning a hole in my brain! Help me!
posted by Scientist to Grab Bag (11 answers total)
I'm sure you already know that "España" is Spain. Is the first patch on a sleeve, and could it be some kind of Navy or shipping line insignia?
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:52 PM on November 20, 2010

That first one looks a lot like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronics_Technician
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:01 PM on November 20, 2010

Yup, I know that "España" is Spain, but it's not the Spanish flag or anything like that... what is the bottom of the patch? Is it for a football team, or a corporation, or what? Am I missing something completely obvious here? It's on the jacket's chest, by the way.

And yeah, that first one *is* on a sleeve (not right up at the shoulder, a bit lower down) and it occurred to me that it might well be military in nature both because of its general design and because it's got an atom on it, which turns up from time to time in military insignia when nuclear weaponry is involved. Navy seems possible, but I really don't know.

This is just a nylon jacket that someone has apparently sewn patches to throughout their travels. It doesn't appear to be part of a uniform or anything.
posted by Scientist at 9:02 PM on November 20, 2010

On preview: the Electronics Technician lead is definitely on the right track. Upon closer examination of the original image, the atom is the same as the one used in their insignia. Any clue about the white stripes on black field?
posted by Scientist at 9:04 PM on November 20, 2010

Do the stripes and insignia make sense in the context that they're used in these uniforms?
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:08 PM on November 20, 2010

OK, after digging in a bit, I come up with this: seaman, the E-3 rank for the US Navy . The atom would seem to indicate that the seaman in question has completed Electronics Technician school. So that looks like it might be solved! Hurrah! Of course, confirmation would be excellent.

Anybody have any leads on the España mystery?
posted by Scientist at 9:10 PM on November 20, 2010

Ex-Navy and was an Aviation Electronics Technician, I'll confirm the first one as a ETSN as you mentioned. The AT symbol is very similar, except it has wings. More info here and here
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:28 PM on November 20, 2010

A US Navy sailor with an España patch may have been in Rota at some point.
posted by zamboni at 10:14 PM on November 20, 2010

Yup, I know that "España" is Spain, but it's not the Spanish flag or anything like that...

Are you sure? The top band of the Spanish flag is red.
posted by mendel at 12:47 PM on November 21, 2010

The top band of the patch is white... but it could just be a white background with the Spanish flag beneath! I hadn't thought of it like that! You're probably right, and given that I haven't been able to come up with anything better I'm gonna mark this mystery "solved".

Thanks everyone!
posted by Scientist at 4:52 PM on November 21, 2010

I'm guessing that jacket your looking at is a Cruise Jacket.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 5:58 PM on November 21, 2010

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