THE HISTORY AND SYMBOLISM OF THE IRON WARRIORS COLORS

Posted by Preacher on January 25, 2011 at 11:08 PM

When the Iron Warriors Motorcycle Club began, the Idaho Chapter of the Western Region submitted the logo-center patch design that was eventually selected by a vote of the national membership to represent the Iron Warriors M/C. The colors were designed to represent the history and heritage of the Club, and to represent the spirit and heart of the membership.

The logo symbol consists of a knight’s helmet and winged breastplate behind a shield with crossed Scottish Claymore swords. On the shield is the Iron Warriors coat of arms, consisting of a wild boar’s head emerging from the American flag. This coat of arms reflects the history of our original association with the Wild Pigs M/C, and our common ancestry with those other public safety motorcycle clubs that emerged from the Wild Pigs. The emblems of knighthood and the colors in the logo symbolize honor, valor, and the warrior spirit.

The lettering on our upper and lower rockers is red and white. The red symbolizes the blood of warriors, current and passed, shed in public safety service. The white symbolizes the purity and sacred pledge of each member’s common oath to serve others, even at one’s own peril. Within the shield, there is a red and blue cross. These colors represent the thin red and blue lines of fire and police holding firm against all threats. The cross represents our common Judeo-Christian Heritage. (By Bill Braddock of the Boise, Idaho Chapter; the person who designed the patch and gave meaning to it)

There are obvious arrows which point to our Club’s history and significance embedded in the design of the patch. Red and Blue as fire eaters and cops. A boar for the Wild Pigs reference and the American flag for our country seem likely to be on the patch, Heraldry and the meaning of symbols on a Coat of Arms. Whether intentional or not, the Iron Warriors Motorcycle Club patch has much significance to it.

Just a short by-pass of information to impart here, the flag of the United States of America was derived, not in whole, but in part, from the Coat of Arms for the family of George Washington. His Coat of Arms had three red mullets (stars) at the top with red bars and white bars below. Just the thought of George Washington having a red mullet seemed humorous.

The origins of the heraldic device, which later led to the Coat of Arms, dates to the 12th century in Europe. The heraldic device started as a cloth tunic worn over or in place of armor to establish identity in battle. It depicted the history of the bearer like an honored hieroglyphic.

Starting with the helmet or the helm, per its design and features, it is the helmet of a protector. A helmet on a Coat of Arms means the person wearing it possesses strength, protection and invulnerability. A helmet facing forward denotes royalty or the house of royalty. Though we are not royalty, far from it, we do gain the authority to do our jobs from the executive branch of government. The fire service and law enforcement exist for the sole purpose to protect life and property and hopefully improve the communities we serve.

The color of the helmet is ardent (white or silver). Obviously the white would take on the symbol of purity, but it means more than that. The ardent color indicates sincerity and peace. Our professions are best served when we are sincere about our mission and we bring peace and order to a problem.

Working down from the helmet, there are the wings and shield. There also are the colors of the patch and the assignment given them throughout time.

Wings on a Coat of Arms denote swiftness and protection. Public safety officers ride quickly into trouble to help protect those in trouble. The wings provide a lifted spirit the means to fly over the landscape and assess the condition.

The shield on the Iron Warriors Motorcycle Club is multifaceted. It is quartered in a cross pattern and has an inset shield; also known as in escutcheoned. The quartered cross pattern is indicative of the savior spirit involved in the public safety officer. The obvious Christian symbol draws together the blue and red (Police/Fire) is the symbiotic relationship we have together.

The inset shield contains the boar and the colors of our American flag. Our flag is important as it symbolizes our purpose and the importance of our citizenship and loyalty.

The colors selected in our patch are white (silver), black, red, and blue. The combination of red, white and blue brings to the fore the patriotic purpose of our professions. Individually, the colors have other meanings as well which emote other feelings and their heraldic meaning amount to the full meaning of the red, white and blue.

Red or its heraldic name, “gules”, means the wearer is a warrior or martyr. A martyr is one who is witness to his/her principles and is willing to die for those principles. Blue, or its heraldic name, “azure”, is the color which indicates the wearer is truthful and loyal. The white in the colors can also be seen as silver (metal), or “argent”. The wearer of argent colors shows that he/she is dedicated to peace and sincerity. In the black backdrop, the accents and lines the black, or sable, means constancy and grief. The constancy is the steadfastness of our ilk and the grief is there reminding us of those brothers and sisters we have lost in the past.

Two swords are better than one. Two sides to public safety, law enforcement and fire protection, are better than just one of them. A club with both is the best. Symbols of history and greatness prove the past works of substance are affixed to our patches.

The sword is the emblem of military honor and incites the bearer to a just and generous pursuit of honor and virtue in warlike deeds. It is also symbolic of liberty and strength. In the Middle Ages, the sword was often used as a symbol of the word of God. The sword (especially borne with flames) is also a symbol of purification.

The swords on our patches come from the Scottish claymore type, which was over fifteen pounds and measured anywhere between five to six feet in length. This would have been a hefty task to swing around a sword of this size and to do so with quickness and sureness. The wearer of this sword on his/her coat of arms showed they were masters. They were also peacekeepers, as no one would want to offend someone who carried such a lethal force.

The Scottish claymore could cut in both directions; jab or stab; and, could be used as an impact weapon. The swordsmen of the 14th through the 17th century were respected for their face-to-face talents in battle. If you face that which is fearful to others, you are respected and revered.

That brings me to the boar on the Iron Warriors M/C patch. Yes, this is a tie to the history of our club’s beginnings, but it also is a symbol of the spirit of the boar. A boar is known to be a fierce fighter. It does not pick fights and it does not go out of its way to show how fierce it truly is. When a boar is confronted with a life and death situation, it will battle its adversary to the death. Many times, it needs only to show it can stand its ground. The boar was honored in the medieval times for the above attributes. To hunt and capture a boar was and still is very difficult. To have killed one for a feast was usually meant for when royalty was to be present. In Ireland, the boar is one of the most popular charges. The meat of the boar was considered food of the Celtic Gods. The symbol of the boar was worn in battle as a charm against injury. The kings of Ireland in medieval times highly respected the boar and made sure as many as possible would eat at the feast.

The boar is the symbol of bravery. A champion among wild beasts, it encounters enemies with nobility and courage, and, thus, has come to signify the traits of bravery and perseverance. The boar is a fierce combatant when at bay and ceases fighting only with victory or its life. I would like to see a boar with opposable thumbs that can wield a Scottish claymore sword.

I see the professions represented in our club as being symbolized accurately in the patch of the Iron Warriors M/C. Heraldry has a unique language, which allows anyone to see who the wearer of a coat of arms is and what he or she has done. In a very brief and direct way, the coat of arms gives the correct ‘first impression’ to the observer.

Together these colors and symbols represent those few public safety members found worthy, and chosen to be known as Iron Warriors.

(Originally published in the October through December2006 issues of the East Bay Iron Dispatch)

Faithfully submitted by:

George “Preacher” Horn, IWMC-East Bay

Categories: Brotherhood

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