Monday, December 10, 2007

Back Patch Update

The following was sent in a statewide email tonight. I am also posting it here in case it gets caught in anyone's spam filter...that's a common occurrence when sending an email to 3800 members.

To all Minnesota members:

With an honor mission coming up in the neighboring state of Iowa this Friday for a Vietnam MIA, we've been asked by several members to clarify back patch recommendations.

As most of you know, we are redesigning the back patch formerly sold in MN to be a one-piece patch, so it does not resemble the 3-piece patches that motorcycle clubs (MCs) wear. The patches formerly sold had "rockers" - a separate piece above and below the center patch. We suggest those who have these patches wear them only to missions in Minnesota. Please note that we cannot dictate your actions - this is a suggestion based on communications with motorcycle clubs in the state, and with neighboring states.

To clarify that, I would like to stress that there have been no threats from clubs - some of this information has been misconstrued along the way. To set the record straight, the MCs we've communicated with have expressed concern for our members, saying that wearing rockers that resembles an MC patch puts people into a world they are unfamiliar with and that it could, in some instances, put them in danger. All of the clubs we've spoken with have expressed their utmost support for the Patriot Guard mission and many MC members attend missions. However, there's no way to contact every member of every single club in the state - hence our suggestion.

Rockers carry a great deal of significance in the world of MCs. If you would like to learn more about Motorcycle Clubs and Riding Clubs, this is a good resource:

We've also been asked to specifically clarify the situation in Iowa with regard to rockers. Earlier this year, the Iowa State Captain approached the Coalition of Motorcycle Clubs in his state, to ask whether or not they foresaw any problems with National's one-piece patch. They said no problems, but that wearing rockers are not a good idea at all. The Iowa State Captain communicated that to us, and we have passed that on to our members. I appreciate the good communication from Bear - he's looking out for members in our state as well as his own. Out of respect for PGR members in Iowa and the relationship they have established with clubs, we request that rockers not be worn to missions in Iowa.

Thank you to everyone who has asked about this - I know some of you plan to attend the mission in Iowa for LTJG Norman L. Roggow, who was Missing In Action since his plane went down near Da Nang in 1967; his remains were recently recovered. It is an honor for us to be part of repatriating one of our heroes from the Vietnam War, and your desire to attend is an excellent example of the "no borders" relationship we have with our neighboring states.

For information on the mission for LTJG Roggow, please see the mission thread on the National website:

We've also been asked for updates on the new back patch. The new patch will have the Fallen Heroes patch in the center with the order of service will be changed to the proper order, and the seals will be updated to the proper versions. An outer ring will be added that says "Patriot Guard Riders" circling around the top, and Honor, Dignity, Respect circling up from the bottom, separated by stars.

Currently, our MN store coordinator is working with the patch manufacturer to ensure we are ok on copyright, as well as finalizing the design and getting estimates. We have the approval of the National PGR Board of Directors to use the name Patriot Guard Riders, but the official trademark for the name is not quite finalized for Patriot Guard Riders Inc. We're hoping that will be finalized on the National level in a few weeks. Further news on the back patch will be updated on the "News & Notes" section of the MN website.

Thanks everyone...for all you do.

Monica Mead
MN State Captain