Minor mystery concerning the Coast Guard CPO combination cap and garrison cap insignia from the establishment of the Coast Guard up until about 1959sh.
The U.S. national shield has 13 vertical pales (pieces) on the lower portion of the shield. The base color of the shield is white with six red vertical pales spaced out to give 13 parts, representing the 13 colonies.
The mystery then.....
Just do a search for " Coast Guard CPO insignia photos" and you will get a multitude of samples.
Focus in on the older examples with the different chain fouling and those with the rope fouling.
You will note 13 stars in the chief, the top of the shield, but you will also notice that the lower portion shows quite a few of the older style with 15 vertical pales. A photo of a #1 surfmans cap on the CG Academy museum website shows that shield on the anchor. A copy of a 1917 National Geographic magazine also shows the 15 pale shield.
Any ideas as to WHY, or any suggestions on where to start digging for an answer..