The Story of the ShieldShield

Metal shields were worn as badges bySalvationists in the early 1880's. Every soldier in The Salvation Army was encouraged to wear a uniform 'even if it be but the wearing of a shield' (Orders and Regulations for Field Officers, 1886); so that they could be identified as Salvationists.

The Sign of the Shield

During World War I, a shield symbol came into use on Salvation Army huts for servicemen. A picture of a hut with a shield sign appeared in The War Cry*, December 25, 1915 and in an article on 'Homes and Huts for soldiers and Sailors', in The War Cry*, July 1, 1917. The article stated that the "Salvation Army Shield has become one of the best known and most prominent signs in the military training camps in this country and in the various Overseas Dominions, as well as among the troops in France." There was a description of the shield in a special Naval and Military Number of All the World*, July 1917. 'It is a large shield on enameled sheet iron with a blood red background'. All the pictorial evidence indicates that at that time the sign had red lettering on a white shield with a red surround. It is not clear when the design changed to white lettering on a red background. There are illustrations of several different shields in use towards the end of the First World War, or immediately after the War, but they are very difficult to date precisely.

*The War Cry and All the World are publications of The Salvation Army.