Helicopters and other images in Afghanistan and Iraq

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While we’re on the theme of helicopters (see below, or type “helicopter” into the search bar), Max Allen points us to this example – a helicopter appearing on a military patch. This is a UK/Australian/Dutch coalition Medevac patch made in Afghanistan.

Patches are of interest to the RoW project in the sense that all imagery which finds its way into the public domain (logos, postage stamps, posters, television, videos etc.) has the potential to be appropriated by rug-designers. And this is especially relevant with respect to images of militaria and other images which carry specific ideological messages.

As Max comments, military personnel sew embroidered patches on the shoulders of their uniforms to identify the unit to which they belong. The patches range from simple to elaborate, sometimes incorporating recognizable imagery and writing; until recently, official U.S. patches were colourful but are now only in in the dull browns and greens of camouflage.

In addition to the official unit patches, there are so-called “Friday patches” which military personnel wear on their off-duty clothing. Early in the various Gulf Wars these unofficial American patches were often stunningly vulgar (as in the final example below). They are not produced anymore.

Both kinds show weaponry drawn in an outline style and using isometric perspective that has been copied on (or from) the war rugs. This aircraft carrier appears in the Twin Towers rugs:

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Here are some other examples from Max’s collection…

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