I realize there’s a small chance some of you may have ventured over to the Hodges History section of our website, but for those that haven’t, I wanted to write a post to explain why our company has its name– or more specifically, why it’s called Hodges Badge Company and not Hodges Awards, Hodges Ribbons, or some other variation on that theme.
While people today tend to use the word “badge” for police officer medallions, or company IDs, in 1920, when Hodges Badge Company was founded, a “badge” also referred to the name tag and attached ribbon frequently worn by fraternal orders, or social clubs, such as The Elks or the Knights of Columbus. That’s how the company got its start- making badges for lodge meetings, parades, funerals and other fraternal gatherings.
Horse shows didn’t really become popular until the late 1930s, and Hodges didn’t start selling ribbons and awards to additional markets (gymnastics, swim, athletic, school) until much later. Therefore, by the time we were manufacturing far more ribbons and rosettes than badges, the company name had already existed for several decades.
The company actually has considered changing names several times, as recently as last summer, when Hodges Ribbons & Awards was the popular choice. Yet ultimately, honoring the 90 year family history of the company and keeping the original name won out.
So now, when I travel to trade shows or meet someone and explain who I work for, I do have to take a moment to describe the type of products Hodges offers. But honestly, it would seem strange to be working for Hodges Awards, since when I turned over my first horse show ribbon at age 10, it definitely said Hodges Badge.