“The Coat of Arms is the torch of knowledge (from the Statue of Liberty) superimposed upon the crossed rifles of the infantry, in which we are to excel…it is the basis of all of our other insignia…it may be enclosed in a shield with the letters “P” and “R” and the date 1894.”
Based on these symbols, the L.G. Balfour Company of Attleboro, Massachusetts designed the Pershing Rifles Crest, which was adopted at the 1932 National Convention by the National Legislative Body. The official crest consists of a Grecian helmet and torse over the inscription “Pershing Rifles” and the founding date “1894.” The crest is a guide for the members in our organization. It tells a little of our history and explains through the various symbols what is expected of us as Pershing Riflemen, officers, and as ladies and gentlemen. Each part of the coat-of-arms bears some significance pertaining to the Pershing Rifles:
A. CHAMELEON: The Chameleon represent Pershing Riflemen’s adaptability to change and constant preparedness. After Pershing Rifles became a tri-service fraternal organization in the late 1940s the Chameleon came to represent the tri-service nature of the organization.
B. HELMET: The Helmet is the symbol of the chivalry of the medieval knights. This spirit is the cornerstone of the character of every Pershing Rifles member. It is a prime requisite for conduct, a necessary part of every true heart. It symbolizes both the courage of the membership of the Society and the Society’s protection of its members.
C. TORSE: The Torse, a six-divisional rope just below the Helmet, denotes the romantic aspect of the heraldry and is the symbol of the chivalrous attitude for the men for womanhood. It is representative of the Pershing Rifles Cord.
D. SHIELD: The Shield, which bears the Crossed Rifles and Torch, is the symbol of the readiness of the Rifleman to meet any situation anywhere, on the battlefield or wherever we may be called.
E. CROSSED RIFLES: The Crossed Rifles, crossed saltier-wise on the escutcheon of Pershing Rifles form a chevron, which has been noted as an emblem of service and of helping one another, here representing the spirit of friendship and the cooperative efforts of units in the Society in serving on another. The Crossed Rifles can also be seen as a symbol for power and military strength for the insurance of peace.
F. TORCH: The Torch, flamed and superimposed over the Crossed Rifles, represents four values inherent to the Society. First, in its entirety, the torch stands for indomitable leadership embodying both the dutiful following of instructions, like true soldiers, and the intelligence issuance of command. It stands also for the eternal flame of true friendship, a fundamental quality inherent within the Society. The Torch also denotes scholarship and knowledge. To meet the demands of leadership, we must have knowledge. It does not mean just the “minimum effort” of scholarship.
G. SCROLL: The Scroll bears the name of our organization and the year of its founding, 1894.