MP Symbols

MP Flag

 MP Flag

The official flag of the Military Police Corps incorporates the crossed pistols that have served as symbolic of the Corps since 1923, the scroll with "Assist, Protect, and Defend", the motto of the Corps, in the mouth of an eagle, which also holds arrows in one claw and a peace branch in the other. On the eagle's chest is the crest of the MP Corps and below the eagle is a scroll with the words "Military Police Corps".

MP Crest

 MP Crest

3 Elements: Shield--Four Elements: The Faces are a war axe bound within a bundle of rods by a red strap. This was the symbol of authority in the Roman armies and was used to restore order and carry out punishments. The Sword represents military leadership and guidance. The Key represents security, both of personnel and vital military assets. The Scales are the scales of justice representing the values of impartiality and fairness.
Banner--"Assist, Protect, and Defend" Assist: embodies the mission of aiding the commander in maintaining order and safeguarding the rights of Soldiers and their families Protect: the MP combat support role of protecting fellow Soldiers and equipment on the battlefield Defend: represents the combat mission of resisting, containing, and defeating the enemy to secure forward support and command and control elements to sustain and win the battle. Crossed Pistols: These are the 1806 Harper's Ferry .54 caliber pistols adopted as symbolic of the MP Corps in 1923. The banner surrounds the shield and is connected with the pistols to represent the unit of the Military Police Corps. This crest is surrounded by the Seven Army Values.

MP Corps Cross Pistol Insignia History

 MP Cross Pistols

The insignia of crossed pistols for the Military Police Corps was approved in 1923. The insignia is not crossed dueling pistols as many people believe. The device is a scale model of the Harpers Ferry Army officers' sidearm and holster pistol of a century and a half ago. The original pistols, for the design were in the collection of Major Jerome Clark, U.S. Army. The device and its development were the idea of Captain George M. Chandler, War Department General Staff, U.S. Army. The drawings for the insignia were made in 1922 by the Heraldic Section, Quartermaster General. In 1920, when a reorganization of the Army occurred, the original staff study assigned 5000 infantrymen to the military police mission. Chief of Infantry, Major General Farnsworth, protested this arrangement because it charged him with troops that he would never have under his control. He won his point with the general staff, and the War Department created another temporary arm of the service--The Corps of Military Police. A new corps insignia was needed, and a new collar mark had to be devised. The infantryman carried a musket, the cavalryman wore a saber, and the military policeman carried a billy-club. The draftsman was instructed to draw crossed billy-clubs. The result was a failure. At saluting distance the MP could not be distinguished from the field artilleryman. The club insignia looked like crossed cannon. Next the medieval military club, the mace, was tried. Beautiful drawings were made but looked like crossed potato mashers. The MP was armed with a .45 caliber automatic pistol. This was tried as an insignia but looked like carpenter's squares. The .45 caliber pistol, like the others, made inartistic devices. The heraldic section was reminded of the Harpers Ferry Army Arsenal flintlock pistol. Everyone interested in the new insignia agreed, and the Chief of Staff, General Pershing, signed the drawings and later approved the metal collar mark which is now worn by the Army Military Police. The above pistols are the Harper's Ferry Army Arsenal flint lock, Model 1806, caliber .54, were adopted as the insignia of the Corps of Military Police in 1923. The initial design consisted of crossed billy-clubs because that was the primary weapon of the MPs at that time but that symbol became confused with the field artillery crossed cannons. The next proposal was crossed maces, the medieval clubs, but they appeared to be potato mashers. The third proposal was crossed M-1911 .45 caliber automatic pistols but they appeared to be carpenter's squares. Then they agreed on the 1806 Model of the Harper's Ferry pistols and it was adopted. The order was signed by the Chief of Staff, General John J. Pershing in 1923 and became official.

MP Colors

 MP School Coat of Arms

There are a few theories as to how the Military Police Corps acquired the colors of green and yellow. 1. The uniform coats of the enlisted dragoons during the American Revolution were green with black trim and yellow buttons and button holes. 2. In World War I, the military police of the American Expeditionary Force in France wore a yellow and green cord on their hats. 3. The MP Corps has the same lineage as the Cavalry, both having originated with the Dragoons, thus the yellow of the Cavalry was retained. The green was taken from the staff of the Provost Marshal Branch. In any case, in 1921 the colors of green and yellow were officially adopted for the Army Military Police with green on the field of yellow. In 1941 the colors were reversed with yellow on green.

MP Badge

 MP Badge

The The development of the Military Police badge began in 1972 when the Provost Marshal General's office began considering proposed designs. The initial design incorporated the symbols of the 15th and 18th MP Brigades, the only two active brigades at the time. This was changed and the resulting badge was approved on 16 January 1975. The badge is sliver plated with an oxidized satin finish and has three distinct components: Shield--represents defense and the traditional police authority Eagle--perched on top of the shield represents alertness and vigilance Armament Crest--placed in the center replicates the crest of the official Department of the Army seal.



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