It is perhaps natural that American soldiers compared their unit traditions with those of the allies. Army began officially recognizing regimental coat of arms, which were originally displayed on the colors and not used as insignia.
During the war the unofficial use of smaller unit badges began with squadron pins in the Air Service. This was later expanded to include a badge to be worn on the white mess jacket.
During the next two decades they were approved for most regular and national guard units.
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Colored trimmings will not be worn with the cotton service or white uniforms. Where insignia or trimmings other than those indicated above are desired, the reason for variation must be made plain when the approval of the War Department is requested. If a distinctive insignia of trimming is adopted, it must be worn by the entire personnel of the regiment and the expense of adopting and wearing it must be borne by the personnel, as personnel, as public funds are not available for this purpose.
On March 18, 1922 the 51st Artillery Regiment was the first unit to receive approval for wearing a submitted design.
Circular 244 of 1921 approved wearing the designs and Colonel Wyllie, wrote an article, which appeared in the March 1921 issue of the Infantry Journal that was titled "Regimental Badges and Coats of Arms." The revision of AR 600-40 of September 27, 1921 included this paragraph: . Distinctive insignia should bear the regimental badge or coat of arms or similar device having historical significance connected with the regiment, such as the ornament of the regiment when originally organized or that worn is some prior war.
If trimmings are adopted, the color should have some historical significance connected with the regiment.
Distinctive insignia are used to indicate component units, such as regiments or battalions. During World War One the United States Army found itself allied with British and French forces.