Chevron (insignia)

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A chevron (also spelled cheveron, especially in older documents) is a V-shaped pattern. The word is usually used in reference to a kind of fret in architecture, or to a badge or insignia used in military or police uniforms to indicate rank or length of service, or in heraldry and the designs of flags (see flag terminology).


Ancient history

The chevron occurs in early art including designs on pottery and rock carvings. Examples can be found approximately 1800 BC in archaeological recovery of pottery designs from the palace of Knossos on Crete in the modern day country of Greece.[1]

Sparta (Lacedaemonia (Λακεδαιμωνία)) used a capital lambda (Λ) on their shields.


A chevron is one of the ordinaries in heraldry, one of the simple geometrical figures which are the chief images in many arms. It can be subject to a number of modifications. When the ends are cut off in a way that looks like the splintered ends of a broken piece of wood, with an irregular zig-zag pattern, it is called éclaté.[2] When shown as a smaller size than standard, it is a diminutive called a chevronel.

Chevrons appeared early in the history of heraldry, especially in Normandy. In Scandinavia the chevron is known as spar; an early example appears in the arms of Arvid Gustavsson Sparre.

Trans, Hinterrhein, Graubünden, Switzerland

Chevron wavy: Bioley-Magnoux, Yverdon district, Vaud, Switzerland

Chevron inverted: The flag of the North American Vexillological Association.

Chevron and chevron inverted, interlaced: Bolligen, Bern district, Canton of Bern, Switzerland

Vaumarcus, Boudry district, Canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

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