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Got this letter from the American Legion Riders this afternoon. We have to remove the bottom bar with our city name from the back of our vests.
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To : Kansas ALR Chapter Directors / Co- Directors & members
Regarding : Directive to remove bottom bar patch
Priorty : high

We are all proud members of the Legion Family first and foremost , we are also members of the American Legion Riders a Motorcycle Association and a Department Program of the American Legion and soon to be a National Program of the largest Veterans Service Organization in the world “ The American Legion”

Like most of our Brothers & Sisters who belong to the Kansas Legion Riders we were not familiar with the Motorcycle Club World or how it operated when we joined and were involved in the set up of the Kansas ALR.
In the past six years we have received quite a lesson.
2001- Kansas ALR began , a patch layout was determined by the only two Chapters in existence at the time ( Mulvane 136 & Sedgwick 268 ) hence the three patch layout we are using today .
We did this incorrectly in 2001 and have had issues ever since – it is time to follow the correct way to wear our back patches if we are to continue as our By-Laws State to “ provide a social atmosphere for American Legion members who share the same interest “ which includes our families.
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Motorcycle Club patches as recognized today

· A one-piece patch normally signifies a family club or Social motorcycle club when it’s done with respect to area clubs.
· A two-piece patch can have many different meanings as long as it’s done with respect to area clubs
· A three-piece patch normally means that the club is a Traditional MC club. With the top rocker being the club name, the middle being their patch and the bottom being territory they exist in.

“ Biker World “ education: You learn to ride a motorcycle safely and so we must learn to co-exist in the world we have entered with other MCs / Associations / Groups. Since most biker clubs / associations are not outlaw clubs they have no issue with us as long as we stay out of their business and follow biker protocol. As mentioned most clubs/ associations are not outlaw clubs and don’t wear a top and bottom rocker. They may have a top rocker BUT if they have a bottom patch it WILL NOT have State, City or County wording on it. Most States have it’s dominant 1% club where these same rules apply.
Additional information is available at : http://home.earthlink.net/~rcvsmc-edu/ and http://www.ironhorseministries.org/OddsAndEnds.htm

We have entered the world of the M/Cs and when we have a 3 patch ,
It is all about respect- the M/Cs have been around a long time. They respect the ALR for what we do but in MC world we are showing disrespect by wearing our three piece patch when we are not in fact a MC. ( bottom bar specifically)
To have our Post Rocker / ALR symbol including Kansas Chapter is acceptable on our back patch and serves our purpose.
Vest front 4 inch Legion , SAL or Aux patch - Post # on top & Town on bottom which is no problem and also lets people know where your Chapter is located.

Q & A

Question : Don’t you feel us as Veterans we have earned the right to wear our patches ? and also the S.A.L. & Aux. that are wearing their patches for their loved ones? The American Legion has been in existence since 1919 long before the MCs
Answer: Yes I do, and many have paid with physical and mental scars but this issue is not about our Legion patch we must consider that years ago when the M/Cs set up their rules for membership into their particular Club. Patches were and still are a main part of their rules. They determined that they would respect each others territory and one of the ways that territory is defined is by back patches. We have every right to wear our ALR Emblem and our Post # we should not display a town, State or display a 3 patch layout on our back patches . Kansas ALR is one of the very few States that operate with a three piece patch. some ALR have had trouble in other States and have had to change their layout.
Question : what if another M/C enters Kansas and decides they don’t like our ALR Eagle?
Answer : There is NO reason that will ever happen ...but if it should we will have to deal with it at that time. There are no guarantees in life. After listening to many other ALR members from Kansas and other States and those Officers from some M/Cs the Bar patch is the only issue. It is patch # 3 and it states a town (territory.)The other Veterans MCs are backing us on this (there will be NO other changes necessary)
Question : do you feel these patch issues have affected the members of the Kansas ALR ?
Answer : Not yet... . If the safety or any other negative events occur to any of our members due to a patch issue it will affect all of us.
All of us have tremendous courage to stand up for what we feel is right, we have shown that in the past , but we feel that would be wrong in this instance. We need to comply with Motorcycle Club/ Associations Protocol if we are to co-exist with them.
Following is an example of one of our ALR brothers comments “

“ On the front of my vest- “ the name my parents gave me. A US Flag that I fought for and would do so again at the drop of a hat. My combat patches worn while I was in combat. The Patriot Guard patch worn for our fallen. The American Legion emblem for all Veterans, past present and future. ALL of these patches are important to me because this is what I stand for and will continue to stand for- out of sheer respect to my Country, my Country’s fallen, my combat brothers, my parents, and my American Legion---the back – oh well- if it interferes with the front of my vest I will fix it “ ( Iraq Vet )

I have received since the first mailing many comments – most positive – but some comments such as “ I can wear what I want on my vest “ “ they ( MCs ) better not mess with me or my family “ “ No group ( s) are going to dictate to me what I can wear and not wear on my vest “ “ My Chapter will not remove the bottom bar ( town ) “ “ I have been all over this country and no one ever said anything to me “
What we all need to understand : it is NOT about you or me it is about continuing the “ Mission” of the Kansas ALR. It is about our other Brother & Sister ALR members that reside in other parts of Kansas. It is about all Chapters staying uniform. It is always to remember “ WE ARE NOT A MOTORCYCLE CLUB “ we are a part of the largest Veterans Service Organization in the world. As much as we accomplish for our Veterans , if we can not co-exist with other motorcycle groups/ associations & MCs in Kansas and the American Legion name was to become tarnished I am sure they would not find it
unacceptable to continue their support.
There is not one motorcycle club or association that even comes close as to what we do for our Veterans & Communities and if you feel you need to look like a Motorcycle Club to complete your “ Mission “ you are wrong.
While in Winter Park last week for the Salute To American Veterans & POW/MIA Ride one of the Guest speakers at the program was Congressional Medal of Honor winner Navy Seal Michael Edwin Thornton ( Vietnam – 31, Oct. , 1972 ) after the Ceremony Kansas ALR was having a cook out at the Hotel…Ed Thornton stopped by to shake everyone’s hand and give us a big hug of thanks to the Kansas Legion Riders for what we do…I doubt he cared what town we were from all he knows is the Kansas ALR supports our Military & their families.
 

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Man-O-Man, that's the longest "Read between the lines" letter I've seen. You can bet something happened that caused it. Bet I can guess what it was. (How's that for a "read between the lines" post?)
 

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Something happened somewhere, even if it was just a "conversation". But the bottom line is, one need not look like a MC to to belong to a club that you can be proud of. Respect goes both ways, and I have found that in the MC world, to give respect earns the right to be respected. Even if both individuals disagree with each others ideology and club differences, one can still respect the other person individually.
 

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I dont really have a dog in the fight, but I am having a real hard understanding MC "respect". "Respect" that comes from violence or the treat of violence is no respect at all.

Something is wrong, and wrong in a DSM -IV way.
 

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Down here in SE Texas legends abound about the importance of "respecting" the 1%'ers and their auxiliaries around these parts. Heck, the Lone Star Rally actually published in a national motorcycle magazine ad that the club that owns Galveston would make allowances for outer wear during the weekend rally (A privilege I suppose?). When pressing the story tellers it's always the same... who's gonna try something and find out. "Not me" they say.

Truth or myth, you be the judge.
 

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mattcage said:
I dont really have a dog in the fight, but I am having a real hard understanding MC "respect". "Respect" that comes from violence or the treat of violence is no respect at all.

Something is wrong, and wrong in a DSM -IV way.
Read the link http://home.earthlink.net/~rcvsmc-edu/ and understand that not all MC's are 1% clubs. And respect for an indidvidual is different than agreeing with everything about the organization they belong to .
I may disagree with your position on a lot of things, politics, religion, bikes, the way you comb your hair, etc. But I can still respect you as a person and not do things that I know are going to antagonize you. And once you get to know me and mutual respect is established, dialogue about those items and many others is possible. It's a shame that so many folks have a hard time learning that concept. Our forum would have a few more members on it if they did.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There is some "read between the lines". The story I got was that a few weeks ago a Legion Rider was confronted by members of the Sons of Silence who threatened to cut the bottom bar off his vest if he didn't remove it himself.

A cousin who was like a brother to me was beaten to death at a Sons party several years ago. He dropped by a private residence looking for Harley parts and somehow pissed someone off. No one was ever prosecuted.
 

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Yoda,

I have looked at the site previously (and learned a lot), but I jsut don't get the whole patch thing. I understand someone passing yourself off with a fake patch (of a known club) or Navy SEAL badge, CIB or whatever and trying to get benefits (real or implied), but I just dont see a problem with a bunch of dudes or dudettes putting patches on their back. (Especially something like the American Legion or some sort of cartoon character.)

We (I at least) am not trying to cut in on any of their financial activities or be billy bad ass. It is a whole different culture I understand, but if you are not passing yourself off as something you are not, then what of it?
 

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I just don't understand the seriousness of it all and probably never will. Maybe it's the noobe in me, I don't know. It all reminds me of the "my dad's bigger than your dad." Why not just get out and enjoy riding?
 

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mattcage said:
It is a whole different culture I understand, but if you are not passing yourself off as something you are not, then what of it?
You are (at least in their eyes) trying to pass yourself off as something that you're not... a patch holder.
 

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yoda43 said:
mattcage said:
I dont really have a dog in the fight, but I am having a real hard understanding MC "respect". "Respect" that comes from violence or the treat of violence is no respect at all.

Something is wrong, and wrong in a DSM -IV way.
Read the link http://home.earthlink.net/~rcvsmc-edu/ and understand that not all MC's are 1% clubs. And respect for an indidvidual is different than agreeing with everything about the organization they belong to .
I may disagree with your position on a lot of things, politics, religion, bikes, the way you comb your hair, etc. But I can still respect you as a person and not do things that I know are going to antagonize you. And once you get to know me and mutual respect is established, dialogue about those items and many others is possible. It's a shame that so many folks have a hard time learning that concept. Our forum would have a few more members on it if they did.
I read the entire site. Holy shit that is deep. After reading it all, I have learned it is not a good idea to disrespect anyone. You never know whose company you may be in.
 

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mattcage said:
Yoda,

I have looked at the site previously (and learned a lot), but I jsut don't get the whole patch thing. I understand someone passing yourself off with a fake patch (of a known club) or Navy SEAL badge, CIB or whatever and trying to get benefits (real or implied), but I just dont see a problem with a bunch of dudes or dudettes putting patches on their back. (Especially something like the American Legion or some sort of cartoon character.)

We (I at least) am not trying to cut in on any of their financial activities or be billy bad a**. It is a whole different culture I understand, but if you are not passing yourself off as something you are not, then what of it?
We are most likely on the same page. The thing is, you mostly answered your own question. "if you are not passing yourself off as something you are not, then what of it?"
By displaying rockers and location bars, one is in a sense trying to pass themselves off as something they are not. The problem isn't the legion patch, it is the style and placement of location and chapters which is seen as announcing "ownership" of a territitory. It becomes simple, if you want to put location somewhere, just do it elsewhere else, like on the front, so it doesn't get misinterpreted.
Just trying to help you understand the thinking, not asking anyone to compromise what is important. Perspective can change just how important individual rights of displaying whatever style and location of patches are though. Remember that among MC's a common sentiment is "wear whatever you feel you can defend" . Something to think about.
 

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The issue is not at all one of understanding, acceptance, or agreement. It's the simple fact that in some locales, some individuals in some mc's will use violence as a first measure to take down someone they perceive as invading their territory, much as killer bees will aggressively attack anything entering their territory. It's animalistic behavior, yes. It doesn't happen frequently, but it does happen. Moral outrage - which I share - won't change it. So unless someone is willing to fight fire with fire, it's best to do the things that make for safety.

Read "Under And Alone" by William Queen, or "Angels of Death" by William Marsden.
 

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The club culture is "interesting" to say the least.

They are not all 1%ers and not all have a problem with other riding organizations. Some are really hardcore and can be very dangerous.

Here in Chattanooga, all the MCs get along and attend mutual meetings and work together for charity rides. When one MC has an event, they invite the others. This is a very unusual relationship.

It all sounds childish, but it's just how it works. It wont change.
 

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The club culture is "interesting" to say the least.

They are not all 1%ers and not all have a problem with other riding organizations. Some are really hardcore and can be very dangerous.

Here in Chattanooga, all the MCs get along and attend mutual meetings and work together for charity rides. When one MC has an event, they invite the others. This is a very unusual relationship.

It all sounds childish, but it's just how it works. It wont change.
 

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From my experience (which is limited, I will admit) and from talking to a lot of older bikers, there are some who feel they have earned the right to the respect they demand. The have been through the noobie/rookie/proby stage and have earned thier full patch and don't always take kindly to someone who THEY don't feel earned thier "stripes" so to speak. To them, there's a world of difference between having to prove themselves for thier full patch and seeing someone who just had to fill out a questionaire, and maybe say a few words to get theirs from a mail order cataloge. Now, please don't misunderstand, I personally see the right the Legion riders have to wearing a full patch, I personally believe they've earned it...but I'm not a 1%er and I'm not even in a club...so my opinion on this matter is just that, MY opinion.

This isn't exclusive to MC's, it's the same with someone in the military who received a higher rank by going to ROTC and the guy who earned his rank from lowly private up, the hard way. Or even in the average work place where some "lower" rank employee has to train the new person who is taking the place of the manager who just left. It's like, "If I have to train someone to do the job, train someone who knows so much less than me for a postion that will pay so much more than mine, then why don't they just promote me and call it done?" It's all about point of view.

In this case, I agree with others who have said, something has happened somewhere. A conversation was had. And instead of looking for possible trouble in the future the Legion is just looking out for it's people by saying, even the possiblity of trouble isn't worth it....especially if you cross that wrong person on a wrong day and someone gets hurt, or dies, because of it.

Just my $.02
 

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It's simple... get a single large patch, similar to the VFW MC patch. One patch, name, state etc...

Most MC, and RC here use the single large patch without issues, all info included within the solid patch.

It's clubs that have rockers that draw attention. I have a patch across the bottom of my vest that says San Diego, but it's flat and not arched. I've been to rally's with Angels, Boozefighters, Monguls, Top Hatters, and many other numerous clubs, and not been challenged on it once.

Granted, I also have a 4" patch that says "lone wolf, no club" on my right breast pocket, not sure if that matters.

I was always told to say away from certain colors, and arched type location or name patches, and I'd be fine, and so far so good.

-S-
 

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My take on the whole patch/colors/rockers etc....... :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
 

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Patch's (their Colors) are not just given to the outlaw bikers, they have to earn them by what they do. A three piece patch with the name of a place (territory) lays claim to that area. If you ride and with a three piece patch with the same territory, you are basically challenging their control of the area.
Learn some of the do's and don'ts and show them respect and they will do the same. Remember these MC clubs have been around since WW2, and have established their rules a long time before most others have.
 
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