MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS PRIVILEGES
September 18, 2023
While marks and identifiers for clubs have always been an important part of society-membership, did you know that what we think of as modern lapel pins were introduced during the American Civil War? That’s right—lapel pins were used to identify soldiers, allowing them to be distinguished among the various fighting units. It was an easy visual marker that helped people organize large groups of people during a confusing time. It also encouraged a sense of loyalty, pride, and community among soldiers in the same unit.
During World War I, lapel pins also played an important role, but instead of being used to distinguish military units, they were symbols of uniqueness. Lapel pins were awarded to select individuals for bravery or some kind of service above and beyond the call of duty. These individuals could proudly wear a mark honoring and distinguishing them from their fellows.
Military trends have a way of trickling down into civilian fashion. Perhaps taking inspiration from the military, or perhaps because of veterans joining civilian organizations post-war, lapel pins have become par for the course when it comes to clubs and organizations. Many fraternities and sororities distribute custom-designed lapel pins to their new members, which are then worn to organizational events. Many other kinds of organizations use custom lapel pins, like the Masons, or the Elks. Sports teams often have custom-crafted lapel pins made so fans can show their pride. Private and public sector organizations alike often use them, as well—such as business, the police, and medical services. These organizations often have several kinds of pins, to distinguish various members from one another while still building a sense of community.
If you’re interested in upping the sense of ‘belonging’ among your members, lapel pins are a perfect way to do that. There are many different types and kinds to choose from. You might have a lapel pin made with your club’s logo or symbol, or one strongly associated with your organization. These can be worn every time your group meets as a morale-booster, or casually, as a way to show your pride when you’re out in the world.
You can also have custom lapel pins made to commemorate a specific event. If your organization has an annual event, it’s nice to have lapel pins printed so that everyone has a souvenir of the year (and hopefully years) they attended. Just think of it—if you have lapel pins printed the very first time you hold a specific event, then the next year you can make a slightly different one. Your members will love comparing and contrasting their personal collections with their colleagues!
If you want to build community, strengthen your group’s sense of belonging, and also promote your organization’s brand recognition to the world at large, there’s no better way than lapel pins!
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