Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Symbol of the Government of Canada

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Badges and Insignia

1873-1904

1873-1904

1904-1920

1904-1920

1920-1954

1920-1954

1954-

1954-

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Regimental Badge

Regimental badges first appeared on uniforms of the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) as early as 1876, although they were not commonplace until the turn of the century.

The principal elements on the early badges can still be seen today – a buffalo or bison head facing frontwise; the motto; maple leaves; a scroll with the name of the Force; and a crown at the top of the badge over the name "Canada".

The name of the Force changed from North-West Mounted Police to Royal Northwest Mounted Police in June 1904 and to Royal Canadian Mounted Police in February 1920. The crown on the badge has also changed from time to time to respect the wishes of the reigning monarch. The St. Edward's crown was adopted for use on NWMP badges, primarily those worn by officers. Through the reigns of Edward VII to George VI (1903-1952), the Tudor crown adorned Mounted Police badges. Upon the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the badge was redesigned to include the St. Edward's crown once again.

The precise reason why the bison head was chosen for the badge has never been determined. It is believed that a bull's head was first utilized because it was a feature on the crest of the Macleods of Dunvegan, the clan of Commissioner James F. Macleod. Artistic license and the passage of time may have served to alter the image from that of a bull to a bison. This is entirely appropriate because of the close association of the Mounted Police with the grasslands of the western prairies where early members depended on the buffalo for food, fuel and clothing.

The motto, "Maintiens le Droit", is English in origin and dates from the 14th century. It first appeared in Canada as the motto for the Grand Trunk Railway Regiment, a militia unit, in the 1860s. Speculation continues, however, as to how this motto was chosen for the NWMP; the answer is elusive because many of the earliest records of the NWMP were destroyed by fire in 1897. Initially, "Maintiens" was spelled without the "s", but this was rectified by General Order in September 1915 and confirmed by order-in-council in 1954 following submission of the badge to the College of Arms (England) for redesign according to heraldic procedures.

Badges and Insignia

Appointment Badges

Special Constable

Special Constable

Auxiliary

Auxiliary

Student

Student

Corps Identity

Officer's Cap Badge

Officer's Cap Badge

Cap Badge

Cap Badge

Collar Badge

Collar Badge

Cloth Shoulder Badge

Cloth Shoulder Badge

Metal Shoulder Badge

Metal Shoulder Badge

Flying Badge

Air Services

Air Services

Sharpshooter

Badge Cross Pistol Crown

Badge Cross Pistol Crown

Badge Cross Pistol

Badge Cross Pistol

Badge Cross Rifle Crown

Badge Cross Rifle Crown

Badge Cross Rifle

Badge Cross Rifle

Rank — Officers

Commissioner

Commissioner

Deputy Commissioner

Deputy Commissioner

Assistant Commissioner

Assistant Commissioner

Chief Superintendent

Chief Superintendent

Superintendent

Superintendent

Inspector

Inspector

Rank — Non-Officers

Corps Sergeant Major

Corps Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major

Staff Sergeant Major

Staff Sergeant Major

Staff Sergeant

Staff Sergeant

Sergeant

Sergeant

Corporal

Corporal

Service

Service Badge (5 years)

Service Badge (5 years)

Long Service Ribbons (20, 25 years)

Long Service Ribbons (20, 25 years)

Long Service Ribbons (30, 35 years)

Long Service Ribbons (30, 35 years)

Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

Specialist, Branch and Qualifying

Musical Ride Badge

Musical Ride Badge

Emergency Response Team

Emergency Response Team

First Aid Instructor

First Aid Instructor

Rough Rider

Rough Rider

Doghandler

Doghandler

Instructor

Instructor

Piper

Piper

Forensic Ident Specialist

Forensic Identification Specialist