The Polar Bear and which way his head turns.

Topics of a general nature that relate to anything to do with the 6th Battalion 31st Infantry that served in Vietnam.
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Niner Alpha
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The Polar Bear and which way his head turns.

Postby Niner Alpha » Wed Oct 08, 2003 11:28 pm

I've gone through three or so "Octobears" showing both the octofoil of the Ninth Division and the Polar bear regiment symbol. Today, earlier, I had the bear facing west and the black of the octofoil to the top. Both are not right. I have adjusted it now. But... if you have a set of 31st regiment pins, like you would have worn on a set of greens, you will see that the bear faces both ways. Not that this is an excuse, but check out other sites and you will see the bear facing both ways. In the "roster" I think I have him facing East. Whatever, this is only for information. Probably nobody really cares one way or the other anyway.
m79rmchsi
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dexter vs sinister

Postby m79rmchsi » Fri Oct 10, 2003 2:28 pm

In heraldry, I think the charge, in this case the bear, is normally suppose to face dexter, or to its right, rather than sisister, or to its left. This is assuming whoever designed the emblem knew or chose to follow the rules. It is rather unusual to find and American eagle facing sinister, for example. Thus, I have exhausted everything I know about heraldry.
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Re: dexter vs sinister

Postby Niner Alpha » Fri Oct 10, 2003 8:39 pm

I have no idea about what is what in heraldry. I am just going by the information in the "slide show" that Jim MacMaster researched and assembled posted a few strings down by Chuck. Take a look at it and you will see the discription touching upon your discription. It could be because the regiment always served overseas and not in the continental US until late into the twenth Century. Russia, the Phillipines, Korea, then formed in the US for Vietnam. Later elements in California, Oklahoma, and now in New York when they are not in three different places in todays hot spots. See the Colonels report in the "Roster".
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m79ermchsicom
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Re: dexter vs sinister

Postby m79ermchsicom » Sat Oct 11, 2003 11:44 am

Whoever designed it may have just ignored the rules, if he know them or cared. Artistic license..
I read once that the stripes on all regimental ties dropped upper left to lower right, as the opposite on a shield implied illegitimate birth [bar sinister], and American stirped ties followed the custom. But, not too long ago saw a British regimental tie, Marines I think, which didn't follow the rule. Don't think I would tell a British Marine his stripes are running the wrong way. <
Curious now, if any American regiment ever followed the British tradition of regimental ties?
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Polar Bear Emblem

Postby Ron » Mon Nov 10, 2003 10:36 am

According to the book 'Vietnam, Order of Battle' there's a showing of difference between the 4/31st & the 6/31st polar bear. The 4/31st (light infantry) pictures it looking to the right, whereas the 6/31st (infantry) has the bear looking left! Just another bit of info to confuse us in the history of our 'Polar Bear.'
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Re: Polar Bear Emblem

Postby Niner Alpha » Tue Nov 11, 2003 11:08 pm

Look closely at this picture taken at Ben Luc in 1970. Wonder who told the sign maker which way the head should turn?
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Re: Polar Bear Emblem

Postby karllowe » Sun Jan 04, 2004 1:45 pm

There is no difference between the crest of the 4th and 6th Bns of the 31st Infantry, nor of the 1st, 2d, 3d, and 5th Bns. All wore the same insignia. The Army lineage book shows the Polar Bear crest facing in each direction and on the coat of arms, it faces to the right.

When a new soldier gets a set of crests at his supply room today, he gets three crests, one for each shoulder and one for his beret (successor to our old garrison cap). He is taught that the Polar Bear always faces forward, thus one crest pointing each direction so it will always face forward when worn on the shoulder epauletts.
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Re: Polar Bear Emblem

Postby Niner Alpha » Sun Jan 04, 2004 2:07 pm

Thanks Karl. That clears things up. Kind of. So which way does the one on the beret have its head turned? Does it face to the right like the coat of arms?
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Re: Polar Bear Emblem

Postby Niner Alpha » Sun Jan 04, 2004 2:13 pm

This is an official flag photo that Mike Kirby sent in. The small bear over the eagle is facing to the right. On this side of the flag at least.
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