View Full Version : Purple Heart

09-03-2004, 05:51 PM
Why do they call the medal a purple heart? I suspect purple is for bruised, like my eye. LOL Anybody really know without a Google? OK, you can google.


09-03-2004, 06:11 PM
Okay, I googled. The award is purple because that was the color of the original Badge of Meritorious Service given out by George Washington in the revolutionary war. The badge was a purple heart shaped piece of cloth trimmed in silver and was sewed on the soldiers uniform. It allowed the soldier to pass checkpoints unchallenged. There were only 3 awarded, all to non-commissioned officers.

That was the end of it until it was revived by the war department in 1932 (on the 200th birthday of George Washington) as the Purple Heart Medal. The first recipient was Gen. Douglas McArthur.

2 of the 3 original badges are still in existence today.

09-03-2004, 06:22 PM
Yes but why purple? What's the significance of the color purple? Maybe only George or whoever made them knows that. 2 of 3 left is pretty good. So Doug was the first to get his butt shot. LOL I Shall Return

09-03-2004, 06:29 PM
No one really knows why Washington chose purple. Some speculate that it's because it's the color of royalty, sovereignty, etc. The heart symbolizes devotion or loyalty.

At the time, there were no awards given out to enlisted men. Washington wanted to do something to show appreciation for exceptional service, and there was no money to hand out commissions, which up to that point was the typical method of rewarding a soldier. So he came up with the Meritorious Service Badge.

09-03-2004, 06:39 PM
Royalty possibly, I'll just go with my assumption that a bruise is purple. And you are bruised if your wounded.

Another is - making a good impression. I read earlier how it was used then, and now is our current day expresion.