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Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Police Department A snow cone. The mascot of the (since-relocated) Milwaukee Braves. A silhouette of City Hall with horns. That was how Chief Edward Flynn described elements of the Milwaukee Police Department’s uniform patch when he arrived on the scene in 2008. The patch in question (left) had been in use […]


Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Police Department

A snow cone. The mascot of the (since-relocated) Milwaukee Braves. A silhouette of City Hall with horns. That was how Chief Edward Flynn described elements of the Milwaukee Police Department’s uniform patch when he arrived on the scene in 2008. The patch in question (left) had been in use since 1985, when officers Donald Brockman (nicknamed “Patch Man”) and Gregory Habeck redesigned the stitching pattern in use since 1955 – and attempted to incorporate portions of Milwaukee’s city flag, a muddled affair that once ranked fourth-worst out of 150 U.S. cities, in a North American Vexillological Association survey. (Chicago’s simple, four-star design came in second in the 2004 poll, right behind the starry flag of Washington, D.C.)

These days, MPD has a dedicated graphic designer, Diane Lardinois, who accepted the task of giving more prominent display to the city name, as well as updating and simplifying the emblem’s iconography. “[After] almost 30 years, it was time,” says Lardinois. “Corporations change their logos all the time. We needed to do the same thing.” 
A manufacturing gear was retained, but little else is recognizable from the old patch. Thanks to advances in embroidery, City Hall is clearly rendered; County Stadium has been replaced with the Calatrava addition’s Burke Brise Soleil; and amber stalks of barley reference our history in brewing. MPD paid $5,000 for the first round of new patches and hopes to replace all of them by 2015, in time for the department’s 160th anniversary. All 1,600 officers will need to replace patches on up to five official garments, with others following as their uniforms are replaced.
Now, about that flag. 

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