Badges history in China

Badges, in simple terms, are signs worn on the body to indicate identity and occupation. It has a long history, and its origin can be traced back to the totem signs of tribes in primitive society. Written records of badges in China is in the article “Stratagems of the Warring States·Qi Policy 1” . But the badge referred to here is essentially different from the badge in the current sense. It actually refers to flag.

The emblem is the banner, and the chapter refers to the mark on the banner. Later in the Song Dynasty, according to historical records, in the third year of Emperor Taizong’s Taiping rejuvenation (A.D. 978), Li Feixiong stole the stagecoach to defraud the messenger, and the conspiracy was spotted by the government. In order to prevent anyone from counterfeiting messengers, the imperial court stipulated that each messenger be issued a silver medal with a special mark to be worn on the body when entering the imperial court or performing official duties, as a sign, and became a means to strengthen the management of palace affairs. In the Jin Dynasty, the Jurchen sent envoys to go out, let the noble ones wear gold medals, calling them “Golden Medal Langjun”, and let the second wear silver medals, calling them “Silver Medal Langjun”. These two types of badges are engraved with six or seven characters respectively to prove the identity and status of the messenger. In ancient China, the tiger charms, fish charms, waist cards, etc. are the embryonic forms of current badges, which have the characteristics of current badges, especially credential badges. 

But it was only in modern times, especially in the Qing Dynasty, that the badge really had modern significance. The article “Clothes. Badges” in the 13th volume of “Qing Barnyard Notes” compiled by Xu Ke wrote: “The emblem, is also the flag. In ancient times, flag was used as a banner, so the emblem was set. Today, it is said that everything which can be used as distinguish marks is called emblem. The most common ones are gold, silver and bronze, and the temporary ones uses silk. “In China, the real badges began with the double-dragon diamond star series of the Qing Dynasty in 1863.

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