Dynamite embroidered cloth patches that tell it like it is




When I was a Boy Scout we’d get patches for camporees and various other events, or at places like Cumberland Caverns we could buy them in the gift shop. They were a way of saying, “Hey, I was there.”

I never understood the point, but my mother sewed them onto a red jacket that I’d wear to Scout functions. I would have loved to have gotten some of these and discreetly added them to my collection. Like the rest of the patches they probably would have gone unnoticed, but it would be enough for me to know they were there.


Collect 'em all!

(Well, probably not.)


What about black Dukes of Hazard fans?


It’s a niche market, all I’m sayin.



Yikes; it’s been a long time since you could get something that cool for only 79 cents. I used to get the Johnson Smith catalog and look longingly at these, convinced that this was the key to upper-tier popularity.


Clicked through and those patches are all pretty unpleasant, really.


I ate the whole thing


i actually have a couple of these – the “Try It You’ll Like It” and the “American Flag/Peace Fingers,” specifically. they are very thin, but they can’t be beat for that groovy 70s look. i really wish i had some more. i would love the “Mr. Natural/Just Passin’ Thru” and “Keep On Truckin’” ones, and the vintage “Ecology” flag is nice. EDIT: i also just noticed that these were sold by “Gandalf Products,” haha – the Tolkien estate wouldn’t stand for this these days!


Programmable embroidery machines are pretty common now and making customized patches for local sports teams and other individuals and organizations has become something of a cottage industry. The machines are like 2.5D printers using fabric fibers instead of the plastics that 3D printers use.

You can obtain ready-made files for lots of different designs - including licensed properties, or create your own from scans or scratch. I imagine that it would be relatively trivial for someone with one of these machines to reproduce the old patches.


I can’t agree they all are unpleasant, but a surprising number of them were.


The memories. I had a denim jacket with a bunch of these, when I was about eleven. I’m quite sure my liberal mom wouldn’t have ironed-on any racist ones; pretty sure I had the ecology flag.


The patches from the comic-book ads aren’t so bad, the occasional Confederate flag notwithstanding. Some of the individual entries, though… oy. They look like the sort that you’d start getting as birthday presents from the bachelor uncle who used to tell you to pull his finger. (When I was a kid in the seventies, I used to dream of having a jean jacket covered with peace and ecology flag patches, but when I actually got a denim jacket, I was eighteen, and stuck to the Apollo 11 mission patch and a few buttons that were easier to add and remove.)


Same here. When I finally outgrew it, my mom gave it to a friend of hers who had two younger kids. I swear, wearing my jacket, he could ride his bike even faster.


I knew a black guy with a big 'ol 4x4 on a lift kit with a confederate flag on the front plate. he represented himself as a kind of urban creative type otherwise, but I think originally he was from the country. or maybe it was a troll. it was pretty weird.


When I was about 13 I discovered a discarded stack of a few hundred National Lampoon magazines from the 1970s. Usually I hate ads, but a lot of them were crazy stuff like this. Those mags were all around pretty amazing, especially compared to what the NL franchise degenerated into by the mid 80s. Lots of subversive and surreal humor.

Try it! You’ll like it!


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