insigne /in'signi/ noun, singular. A badge, an ensign, an emblem.
This is a site for collectors of militaria insignia. It is a free site: you will not be asked to join an organization; you will not encounter material that is available to "members only"; you will not be confronted with annoying pop-up ads. The goal here is simply to provide information that will enhance one's collecting experience.
Initially, this site represented the work and views of a single individual. Since then, I have enlisted, and I continue to seek, the involvement of others willing to share their expertise.
I have collected military insignia for 25 years. The first few years were spent building my collection and my knowledge of insignia by interacting with dealers of insignia and with other collectors. I soon grew disenchanted with this method of collecting, and I set out to locate veterans of the military units in which I had an interest. It was an approach to collecting that required the investment of a great deal of time and effort, and it required that I narrow the focus of my interests.
Acquiring insignia from the men who wore them and hearing of their wartime experiences transformed the hobby from one of collecting insignia to collecting pieces of history. I began casting what I had learned into magazine articles, an activity that added to my enjoyment of the hobby. What you will find on this site are several of those articles, which present some of the insignia and information I gleaned during years of contacts with veterans of World War II. You will also find material that deals with the hobby of insignia collecting in general and, especially, with the problem of reproduction and fake insignia, a subject that many fear to deal with publicly except in generalities. If you find something in this site that instructs or entertains, it will have served its purpose.