Evolution of the BratPin

(I ‘pulled’ this off another blog I manage; bratpin.com.  After the first of the year I plan to hand the whole operation over to a ‘non-profit’ that supports military children.  There are a couple-3 posts I don’t want to lose…)

In December 2009 I asked my US Congressman, Bob Latta, (R/OH) to introduce legislation to the Congress to recognize and honor Military Brats.  At first I was thinking in the form of a medal of some kind or another.  Then I learned that Congressional medals (in the nature I was seeking) are reserved only for “serving military members.”  After 5 months, to his credit, he introduced HR 5333: Children of Military Service Members Commemorative Lapel Pin Act, (2010).

At first I wasn’t shot-in-the-head with a lapel pin – aren’t those for old guys?  Then, the more I thought about it, the more it appealed to me.  I learned early in life, ‘when the handwriting is on the wall, learn to read it!’

One of the provisions of the proposed legislation was to send the bill to the Army Department of Heraldry upon passage – for design, and approval of the pin.  “Oh crap,” I thought to myself, “I can only imagine what those ‘shoeclerks’ (bureaucrats) will come up for us!  After all, right from the very beginning, ‘they’ attempted to diminish a bit of our charm and identity by referring to us as “the children of military service members,” vs “military brats!”  (I can ‘appreciate’ that not every child of a military service member embraces the term ‘military brat,’ but I do – and that is what is important here!  LOL!)

Then it wasn’t too hard to imagine a very formal, government conference room wherein a collection of self-appreciating bureaucrats could congregate to design “our” pin.  Can you imagine the “bickering” that would have evolved?  Each shoeclerk with his or her “special” interest.  Why, we would need to all kids represented – be they white, black, Asian, Lutheran, LGBT, ‘special needs,’ what-ever!  By the time everyone got their “special interest” inserted into the design, the damn pin would have been the size of a medium pizza pan!  So this summer, when I decided to “go it alone,” I wasn’t too torn up that I would be bypassing the Army Department of Heraldry.

Sometime during the summer the “dandelion” came to my attention as a contender for the pin.  Again, I wasn’t all that shot-in-the-head with idea, but the more I thought about it, and read about it, the more sense it meant to me. And so I began looking around for dandelion ‘concepts’ to use… I wanted something with a dynamic vs. a static look about it – a design that reflected movement.  After all, we are so very transient ourselves.  This was the first design I looked at:

PD0 About the same time I began considering the image, I also began to concern myself with the shape of the eventual pin.  I wanted a pin that would be easily recognizable in shape – like an oval.  So, to get that, I had to ‘lose’ the figure blowing the seeds – yet I liked the concept of the seeds scattering to the winds… so, I essentially took a “puff ball” and had an artist “pull the seeds” out in the form of an arch.

So, the first version came out like this:

BPV1Kinda ‘boring,’ huh?  Then it was suggested (by Mari) that we add a dog tag chain as the border.  And Steve suggested we add the word “American” on the back.  So, Version 2 came out like:


Two things I was not happy with: 1. the dog tag clasp looked like bailing wire and 2. the ‘order’ of the wording on the back of the pin – I wanted the word “American” featured more than the web site address.  So, back to my Account Rep I went again – and soon, Version 3 was came out:

BPV3He got the back fixed, but ignored the clasp.  (He must have thought I would miss it.  I didn’t!)  And so we continued to dance – round and round we went.  He told me it wouldn’t make a difference when the pin was produced, but I wasn’t buying it.  So I contacted a dear friend who is a graphic artist and he came up with this:

bpimageI sent this design to my Rep, and asked him, “How hard can it be?”  Finally, after being beat like a rented mule, he acquiesced and we went into production!

Today I am pretty happy with this design – simple, yet elegant!  And I think it does represent the Military Brat; with a sense of reverence and honor.  I deliberately kept the wording, “Military Brat” off the face of the pin because we will soon know who we are, and that is what is important!


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