The diamond design of the Finance Corps’ branch insignia was first used in 1896. With the merger of the Pay Department into the Quartermaster Corps in 1912, the issue of branch insignia became moot, a situation that did not change even when the Quartermaster Corps was overwhelmed during World War I and Congress authorized a Finance Service in October 1918 and then a Finance Department in 1920 as a separate branch of the War Department (not Army).  Indeed, it wasn't until the Army Organizational Act of 1950 that the Finance Department became a basic branch of the Army as the Finance Corps and an actual insignia was needed for it (the need for a Finance Corps Regimental Distinctive Insignia would not arise until 1987) and the old diamond design was chosen.

All of this is straightforward history. What isn’t so clear is why the diamond was selected in the first place.

In his massive tome Encyclopedia of the United States Army Insignia and Uniforms, retired Lieutenant Colonel William K. Emerson ventures a theory that, while possible, doesn’t seem very compelling. Emerson describes the 1896 incarnation of the insignia as a “gilt metal, imitation embroidery blind buttonhole 1 inch long and ¾” high...If one takes a regular buttonhole and pulls on each side of the opening, it makes a diamond shape.” This is most certainly true, but such a phenomenon hardly seems to be so noteworthy that it would be considered an appropriate symbol for an entire branch of the United States Army.

The branch colors of the Finance Corps, however, are much easier to understand. Silver and gold formed the backing for United States Dollars until President Franklin Roosevelt issued an Executive Order in 1933 outlawing the private ownership of gold. Although paper money was widely used in the 19th century, both silver and gold were just as common and in many cases were preferred over paper currency because they could not be depreciated by overprinting or counterfeiting.

Related Finance Corps Items

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


100% secure payment

Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.