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Old November 14th, 2011, 01:40 PM   #1
Charybdis
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Default BSG Dress Medallion origins?

I have long wanted to find out what the origins are to the BSG dress medallion, and whilst I cannot say for sure, I have made an interesting discovery (at least I think so.)

One of my favorite documentaries is the Military Channel's "World War II in Color." During the opening credits, there is one shot of some German troops marching in parade formation. On their chests is a medallion of sorts that caught my eye. Here is the shot:



After some research, I found out that a branch of the German Feldgendarme (Field Military Police) wore these medallions called a gorget. Here are a couple of more shots as an example:





Perhaps someone like 137thgebirg might chime in on this since he has done a ton of research on the BSG insignia and he might know a lot more about German/Austrian military insignia as well..

what do you think? Could this have been the basis for the BSG dress medallion??
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Old November 14th, 2011, 02:46 PM   #2
137th Gebirg
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Default Re: BSG Dress Medallion origins?

Hi, Charybdis - yes, you are correct that this is referred to as a gorget, pronounced "gore-jet".

It started out in ancient times as a full metal collar, surrounding the neck and upper shoulder area as a part of personal armor to protect against a sword attack to that area. Over the centuries, it evolved into what you see above - in this case, the WWII German variant, most commonly used by their equivalent of the Military Police. After WWII, both East and West Germany's continued the practice, and I believe they do to this day, post-reunification. Other nations' militaries throughout the ages have used similar devices for decorative use, even after the employment of melee weapons had become obsolete.

If you do a Google image search on the word "gorget", you will see a ton of very cool-looking variants. And yes, I would bet my next full paycheck that the Colonial Warrior decoration was based precisely on this concept, especially due to its ancient origins. The German use of this device would make sense, as their leadership was heavily interested in ancient alien influence on the Aryan root race, from which they claimed pedigree. Any allusion to ancient alien/astronaut involvement would have been played-up to reenforce that mythology (regardless if it was true or not ).

Unfortunately, as official records from the BSG costuming department are virtually non-existent, there is likely no way to absolutely confirm that this was the plan.

I'm still waiting for the day that someone from costuming will come forward and say, "yeah, I came up with all the Colonial insignia - what do you want to know?" but I'm not really holding my breath on that one.

Last edited by 137th Gebirg; November 14th, 2011 at 02:57 PM..
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Old November 14th, 2011, 05:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: BSG Dress Medallion origins?

So I guess what you are saying is that the Gorget is a traditional german decoration and not necessarily a Nazi symbol.
Correct?
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Old November 14th, 2011, 06:58 PM   #4
137th Gebirg
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Default Re: BSG Dress Medallion origins?

Correct. The gorget has been around a lot longer than the Nazis. Like many other things, they adopted it for their own purposes, just like the swastika.
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