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Thursday, October 08, 2009

The silver star badge made popular by lawmen of the Old West was originally worn by disgraced samurai warriors.

See also:
- Japan Guide

keywords: history, culture and places, government, asia, japan, warrior, war, soldier, martial arts, old west, law, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day


  • The silver star badge of the disgraced Samurai is probably coincidental although it may have reinforced the notion of authority in the Western U.S. among Japanese-Americans.

    I work at the University of Vermont Special Collections Department of the Bailey/Howe Library. In our Wilbur Collection we have many of the primary texts on early American law enforment.

    The six-pointed "star" sheriff's badge was brought to the United States in the mid-1700s by Jewish immigrants. English law enforcement at this time featured constabulary who carried or wore small tin shields as their symbol of identity or authority.

    Jews arriving in New England saw this tradition that had been brought from England and appointed their own constabulary with a Star of David as their own symbol of authority for their community. The first known example of this was in Lowell, Massachussetts in 1721.

    As towns and neighborhoods grew, the Jewish constabulary became seen by a wider audience until the six-pointed star became the official badge for Boston Sherriffs in 1769. By the early 1800s it was common throughout the fledgling United States and territorries.

    By Anonymous Nathan Bartley, at January 15, 2007 3:36 PM  

  • Nathan, I admire your attempts to bring a little truth to this website, but it will do you no good. This site wears a truth-proof kevlar vest.

    By Anonymous The Insider, at February 07, 2008 11:03 PM  

  • Are there going to be any new facts, or are you going to keep using old ones?

    By Blogger sean, at November 21, 2008 11:43 AM  

  • this site sucks balls

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 08, 2009 11:31 AM  

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