Adding patches to your motorcycle riding gear can be a great way to show off your personality. Some patches are not cool.
If you don’t know the history of the patches you’re wearing, you might want to avoid them.
We have put together a list of some motorcycle patches you will want to steer clear of when wearing your leather or denim vest.
Why Should I Avoid Wearing These Patches?
Many of the motorcycle patches we have put together are associated with problematic organizations that take themselves very seriously.
It is a good idea to stay away from any patches or imagery associated with the outlaw MCs and the OMGs because they are a small fraction of the motorcycle enthusiasts you will ever come across on the road.
If you are confronted by a biker about a patch, calmly and politely deescalate it, you might not know the full meaning.
If you are asked to remove a patch or vest, we recommend doing so to prevent further trouble.
Staying safe while riding will be ensured if you are informed about what motorcycle patches to avoid.
Motorcycle Patches That You Need to Avoid
The 1%er patch is one of the more mysterious motorcycle patches that we would like to tell you about so you can avoid wearing it.
One of the truest symbols of an outlaw is the 1%er patch, which is often made out of white or gold and sewn onto a black diamond or square background.
The Hollister riots of July 1947 are where this patch came from.
The American Motorcycle Association sponsored a motorcycle rally in Hollister, California that got out of hand when inebriated bikers took to the street, causing damage and breaking windows.
99% of motorcycle club members were honest, law-abiding citizens and only 1% were reckless outlaws according to a statement released by the American Motorcycle Association.
The title 1%ers was used by motorcycle clubs that were already on the outs with the American Motorcyclist Association.
The 1%er patch designates the bearers as members of outlaw MCs, against both society and its laws.
Only members of the Big 5 Outlaw Motorcycle Gang and their worldwide affiliates wear these patches.
The Iron and Maltese crosses are some of the most widespread symbols on biker patches, vests, jackets, shirts, and tattoos.
It is possible that the meaning of a white cross has a more disturbing meaning.
Sometimes the white cross is shaped like the Iron or Maltese cross, and sometimes it has smoke or fog surrounding it.
The white cross patch or pin is worn by a sworn member of a motorcycle club who has witnessed a grave being unearthed or someone stealing something from it.
Some of the more illegal activities that outlaw MCs participate in are understandable, but this one is mind-blowing.
We don’t recommend wearing a white cross patch for any reason, whether it’s to poke fun at outsiders for asking stupid questions, or because of the meaning behind the white cross.
Similar to the White cross, a Red cross is simply the Iron or Maltese cross painted or sewn in red.
Most MCs don’t allow all persons in this category to become members because they have participated in homosexual activity.
The Red cross is symbolic of the wearer’s acts in prison, where the lines are somewhat blurred.
Big 5 OMG Patches
If you ride out with anyone associated with the Hells Angels, the Bandidos, or the Sons of Silence, we recommend that you never wear any patches associated with those organizations.
Over many years of service to their MC, these 5 Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs earn their patches.
If someone outside of their group wears one of their patches, it will be seen as a sign of disrespect to their club, leadership, and charter.
We suggest making sure you don’t wear anything close to what you’re wearing.
- The Hell’s Angels’ winged skull
- The Mongols’ Ghengis Khan
- The Outlaws’ skull and pistons
- The Bandidos’ ‘fat Mexican’
- The Sons of Silence logo
Since the defeat of Hitler’s Germany in the 1940s, outlaw motorcycle clubs have adorned themselves with Nazi regalia and symbols.
The veterans that made up the membership of early MCs wore these trophies from the battlefields of Europe.
As the next generation of predominantly white bikers embraced their fathers’ MC culture, the Nazi imagery became a middle finger to the dominant American culture, making the bikers feared by whites and people of color alike.
Since World War One, war veterans have been looking for the same camaraderie and adventure that they found in other soldiers.
Although early MCs like the Hells Angels wore Nazi regalia with a dark sense of humor, the rising tie between MC culture and white supremacy brings a darker meaning to the use of national Socialist imagery.
The symbols of the Nazis have fallen out of fashion due to the international ramifications of their actions.
Even if the patches are only intended as a joke or to stir up controversy, please avoid wearing them.
Ace of Spades
The vest of a member of a motorcycle club has a patch on it.
A person can be marked as having had a brush with death in MC culture, for example in the armed forces, motorcycle crashes, or street combat.
It is an image that shows that the bearer is willing to go all the way for their club brothers or their country.
There are red, black, white, and dark gray colors for the card. The centerpiece spade can be replaced by a grim reaper with a scythe.
If you want to rock this patch, you should be a real tough guy, since it means you are capable of taking any action needed.
If you don’t have bikers to back you up, you might want to put it in a visible place on your leathers.
Some bikers that are more involved with community support organizations have adopted the Ace of Spades patch to mean that they are willing to go far for the righteous cause of the charity work that they do, but it’s probably a patch you had better be able to defend.
Skull & Crossbones
You can probably get away with rocking a gnarly, snarly, flaming skull on your vest or jacket, but you need to be very careful.
Many bikers wear skull and crossbones patches on their shirts and jackets to remind them of their mortality. It scares off the people who don’t understand our culture or gallows humor.
The skull and cross bones are used by motorcycle clubs to signify that the wearer has committed murder, either in prison or for the benefit of their MC.
The skull and crossbones are likely worn by the sergeant-at-arms or enforcer classes of outlaw MCs. You don’t want to cross someone wearing a skull and crossbones on a bad day.
13, Or Diamond 13
It’s difficult because the number 13 is used across several cultures to ward off bad luck, and lots of people wear it for different reasons.
The 13 is a representation of the 13th letter of the alphabet, M, which stands for marijuana.
A 13 patch indicates that the patch wearer enjoys or sells illegal substances.
The 13 can be used to indicate the use or sale of dangerous street drugs that are often sold or smuggled by outlaw MCs.
A Diamond 13 patch might have a bigger meaning, but the diamond is what makes it different.
The original outlaw biker clubs weren’t criminal organizations, but clubs that weren’t recognized or legitimized by membership in the American Motorcycle Association.
The first 13 outlaw biker clubs in the 1930s were recognized with the Diamond 13 patch.
The diamond is an outlaw motorcycle patch that symbolizes outlaw status in the modern sense- outside of the laws of society and the police.
If you still feel like rocking the unlucky number 13, don’t wear a Diamond 13 because it might have a deeper meaning for patched-in MC members.
D.F.F.L. is a registered trademark of D.F.F.L. Dope forever, forever loaded is the acronym for that.
This patch signifies that the person wearing it enjoys these drugs and has them on their person at all times, for personal use or sale.
Dequiallo is one of the most dangerous patches to avoid wearing. It is important to never associate with anyone who is wearing the Hell’s Angels patch.
A Dequiallo patch is worn over the heart of a Hell’s Angel and signifies a person who has confronted law enforcement officers.
While a symbol of pride for the wearer, this patch is sure to get anyone less confrontational in a lot of trouble with law enforcement officers they come in contact with.
Truck driver by profession, automotive lover by heart. Ricky is the main publisher and editor at Truckile.com sharing his life-long knowledge and experience in the auto industry and truck driving!