Military - Buttons, Insignias, Other. US 27th Infantry?

Military buttons - from a distance, look similar. Up close, not so. And all military-related symbols are not just on buttons. See the wolf head here, that we think represents the US 27th Infantry, below.. It is also shown in the animals hatpins post because we aren't sure of the category.

Military buttons hatpins, Group photo

To identify, as a start we tried the British://, but cannot enlarge the hundreds of buttons/ badges enough on that site to see detail.

We see for the American buttons: :// But can't activate the navigation. Trying://

1. Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense. Small. British. rampant on left (facing us) and faces viewer. Unicorn rampant on right, in profile. Crown on top of button, no lion on top of it. 7 1/2 " rod, button 5/8" across, shield area. Latin looks like "Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense" that to us meant Order of the Garter, but in the Cronin collection of badges at the military badges site, is seen on two badges there, one RSM 1988, so phrase still recently in use. Latin at bottom may be "Dieu at mon droit." The back: Appears to say Play Bros. Cannot find that on internet.

The motto, Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense appears on Queen Victoria's 1st Dragoon Guards badge, see ://

The lion and unicorn with a lion above appears at :// - master gunner or 1st class staff sergeant? Also regimental sergeant major/ See ://

1.1 Honi Soit With The Royal Garter (looks like belt buckle)

- Large. 15/16" Rod 8 1/2". Lion rampant left side, Unicorn rampant right side, Lion on top, just over another detailed symbol, can't figure it out. Garter symbol around, on which "Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense" is written. "Dieu et mon droit" at bottom. Central shield, worn, looks like four areas. Could be ://, similarities, but no top portion above with the little additional lion we have. Also, that site is for Revolutionary War. For hatpins, we are looking later than the Revolutionary War, when large hats were in style.

Honi soit: The Order of the Garter. Three tales. One, that King Edward III used his leg garter to signal battle, perhaps at Crecy. Two, that he was dancing with a lady and, gasp, her garter fell to the floor. The King swooped it up, and gallantly placed it around his own leg, saying the honi soit - "Evil to him who evil thinks." Three, that the King named a new Order and Brotherhood in honor of the Table Round, commemorating Arthur, the Order of the Blue Garter. See:// Great detail there of the history.

Note the crown - Victoria's Crown.

1.2 Second, smaller button: Here is one like the larger one above, rod 7 1/2", width 1/2". From a cuff instead of a front button?

Howard Scharfe and Marjorie Scharfe Hatpin Collection, military button, perhaps General Sickles Excelsior Brigade, NY 3. Excelsior (on back) - United States New York. Could be General Sickles Excelsior Brigage 1861, below, who knows? See article. Medium. 3/4" across, 6 1/2" rod. Eagle rampant (to us that means wings outstretched, face in profile). Flat ring around, then high dome, raised stars going around, lined field, shield divided with two vertical areas: Left, sunburst with mountains and sea below. Left, American flag shield form, half of it, with stars all in top part, then stripes vertical below. Back: John W. Boylan, NY Then: SNY.

Here it is, on eBay, at :// Nobody's buying. Says that Excelsior is the NY state motto. There is an 1800's version at ://,57217.0.html, but that is not ours.

See NYT article July 17, 1861, about local military movements, General Sickles' Excelsior Brigade, at

Howard Scharfe and Marjorie Scharfe Hatpin Collection, military button, military button, civil war enlisted man4. Civil War Enlisted Man's Coat Button,Medium, shield level with eagle, see :// Eagle with shield at center, flag symbols, stars on top area, then striping vertical below. 7/8" wide, rod 6" long. Those made after 1875 have a raised shield.


5. N.G. - British heraldry, still looking. The double unicorns supporting the shield is unusual to us. More often, lion and unicorn. There is a Canadian unicorn connection, and with the Canadian items we have, perhaps. See below about unicorns. But not US. No flag, no stars or stripes. Unicorns Rampant. Medium. 7/8", rod 6". Back says Waterbury Button Co. and that is probably Waterbury CT? Primitive tiny eagle at top with a keystone over its head, then two unicorns rampant with shield between but not American flag type. Looks like on shield is crown at top, then a single symbol of something below, and below that, three symbols (alike but not like the one above) in a row. Leaves-laurels go around left side, but different, simpler florals around right side. Now to find that one: so far, no luck.

Ok. Here are Victorian UK badges and symbols, at have many eagles, including for Waterloo, so have to be careful in assuming eagles on our buttons are American.

Unicorns: Yes, these are in Canada. Believe. See :// There are nose-horned dinosaurs, and one who did not fit on the Ark was towed behind by the horn, and unfortunately drowned. There are unicorn sightings still. Also associations with the Holy Ghost, Virgin Mary, then medieval things. Also appears in Arabia, and the 3d Century BC, and original home possibly Atlantis. Believe! Then, from Scots royalty in the 1400's using the unicorn to support the central shield, we come to Canadians using the Unicorn to support the shield as well: dexter supports for Arms of Manitoba and Newfoundland. Still can't find ours. Trying :// Scots connection with unicorn supports again, but not ours. This one discusses terms and poses,:// History of heraldry at Giving up on our button with the N.G. for now.

Here is something. "C.G." designates the Coldstream Guards, British, see :// So what are other Guards called? Any N's?
6. General Service Button? British, large 15/16", rod 8 1/2", looks like this one at If so, is 1901-1953. Honi soit, dieu et droit, lion and unicorn, crown, with another lion above, shield, hard to tell if identical to picture. Looks like the harp LL, three stacked symbols UL, hard to tell UR, LR. On back: _____ison & Smith LTD

7. New Zealand Volunteers. Tiny. 1/2", rod 5 1/2". Back: West ____ Button Co. Words written around top, with four little stars in a square in the center. They are shown as 1895-1911, see a picture of five of them WWI at ://

Fun - go to the site, expecting to see WWI soldiers. But the picture includes a lady. The Fifth person in the picture is one Ettie Rout, a WWI "safe sex campaigner" who saw venereal disease as a medical and not a moral problem. She educated, and gave out treatments, and sold kits for treatments, with powders, ointments, condoms. See :// The New Zealanders were at the Gallipoli campaign, Egypt. She organized women to go frm NZ to Cairo to help her. She ultimately put together her own kit to sell the soldiers.

The NZ Expeditionary Force saw the benefit of the kits, adopted the idea, took them over, and gave her no credit at all. The Cabinet banned her from the news for the duration of the war. Some said she should not make vice safe.

NZ and Australian soldiers were known as Anzacs, and Anzac Day is April 25 to commemorate them at Gallipoli. NZ proud of role as its own nation. Excellent.

Confirmation -:// NZ Volunteers 1895. When they were founded. And here they are in uniform - full dress, and with cannon, and many war photos, action, horses, and detailed history, at ://

G C, crown over crest, large. 7/8", rod 9/16. On back, Paris at bottom of circular text, at both sides are letters H at left, M at right, and around top TW&W

Out only clue so far is a search for Canada National Defense. That turned up a military recruiting website, URL at :// Maybe we are on the right track. There is the "gc." Now to look up the crest, get more specific. We have contacted the site just in case someone likes history.


Ivory wolf's head. We have it at the animal hatpins section. Now we ask, Is this military?

See the wolf's head, now at Hatpins Collection Tour, Animal Hatpins, Wolf. The wolf's head was the symbol, from 1909, of the 27th Infantry, with action in WWI (Philippines). See :// The shape, the profile, are startling. So alike.

It is also on something called "The Siberian Expedition" after WWI. Please check. See the US Army crest, with wolf facing either way, and motto at ://

Good heavens. Look at this. American Expeditionary Force, Siberia, time of the Russian Revolution. See :// There is a New York Times archive article from 1/28/1920, when the forces began to come back, at The heritage goes back to the War of 1812 possibly, right through Iraq and Afghanistan now.

For the military account, and the context, and why it was important to be there at that time, do see
Wolf's head, we conclude that you belong here, and not just with animal (read interesting and fun, but not pivotal) hatpins, where this also appears.