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Broken Arrow Composite Squadron Heraldry (OK155)




Purpose:  To establish and maintain compliance with CAP heraldic standards for unit emblems as established in CAPR 110-3, Civil Air Patrol Heraldry Program.

Historical Significance: The squadron proudly bears the name of its host city, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The city derives its name from the original Creek community which named the city after its old settlement in Alabama. In Creek the name is Rekackv (pronounced thlee-Kawtch-kuh), meaning “broken arrow.” The broken arrow is a Native American symbol representative of peace. The squadron proudly includes the broken arrow as homage to the squadron’s commitment to its local community and search and rescue training.

Heraldry: The components of this new design and their symbolism is described below

Three White Stars: Three white stars across the top represent the three programs of Civil Air Patrol; Aerospace Education, Emergency Services and Cadet Programs. The color white with a heraldic name of “Argent” represents truth and peace.

Red Pallets: A “pale” describes a charge on a coat of arms. It takes the form of a band running vertically down the center of the shield. The name originally referred to a picket (a piece of wood much taller than it is wide such as is used to build a picket fence) and it is from the resemblance to this that the heraldic pale derives its name. When two or more pales are present, they are referred to as “pallets.” A pallet may be “couped,” or “cut off” at either end, not reaching the top or bottom. The heraldic term for this is “couped in retrait,” when cut off at the top, or “a pale retrait in base” if cut off at the bottom. The vertical “pale” in heraldry denotes great strength and firm resolve to stand strong for one’s country.

Resembling pillars standing strong and giving a firm foundation, the vertical red pallets are representative of three of the four Core Values of Civil Air Patrol: Integrity, Volunteer Service and Excellence. The fourth Core Value of Respect is represented in the white spaces, bilaterally surrounding the other three values as a reflection to its importance. We also see another reference to the number three in the vertical color scheme, reinforcing the symbolism of the stars. Finally, red, with a heraldic name of “Gyoolz,” represents strength, determination and courage.

The Broken Arrow: Native American symbols can vary in meaning from one tribe to another and across the culture groups of North America. The arrowhead is generally a symbol of alertness or readiness and signifies the squadron’s resolve to maintain its readiness to serve its community, state and nation. The broken arrow is a symbolic representation of peace. The squadron proudly includes the broken arrow as homage to the squadron’s close bond and commitment to its local community and readiness to fulfill its duties. Yellow, in heraldry is gold and has a heraldic name of “Or.” This represents the unit’s generosity of its resources and openness to all.

The Eagle: The eagle symbolizes people of action, occupied with high and important matters. A person of ingenuity and quick comprehension. The wings signify protection, a nod to the squadron’s commitment to emergency service ground teams. The eagle is pictured hovering mid-flight, scanning the terrain before it; signifying the squadron’s readiness to serve at a moment’s notice.

Done on this day, the twentieth day of August, two thousand twenty-one and of the Independence of the United States of America, two hundred and forty-five.

Design and Artwork: Capt. Brandon W. Lunsford, Sr

Reviewed by NHQ Historian Staff: Maj. Timothy Thornton, 20 Aug 2021

Coordinated Through Oklahoma Wing Commander: Col. Aaron E. Oliver, 20 Aug 2021

Approved by Southwest Region Commander: Col Martha C. Morris, 20 Aug 2021

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