A biker patch or “color” is usually sewn onto a vest made of leather or denim to denote the biker’s group, organization, or gang. These sacred patches are worn with honor and can contain secret symbols that say things about the group or the person wearing them.
There are basically 3 types of motorcycle patches that come in one, two or three pieces. The one-piece patch symbolizes a motorcycle organization such as the Harley Owners Group (HOG) and the Honda Riders Club. Motorcycle clubs often use two-piece patches, or they may symbolize a motorcycle club waiting to transition into a full three-piece outlaw club. The three-piece patches symbolize an outlaw motorcycle gang.
Motorcycle patches have basically three parts; the top rocker, the bottom rocker, and the group or gang emblem in the middle. The two crescent-shaped rockers display the club’s name at the top and the group’s place or region at the bottom. Sometimes the word MC is placed next to the emblem or rocker to indicate that it is a motorcycle club.
In 1947, the American Motorcycle Association declared that “99% of all its members are law-abiding citizens and only 1% are Outlaws” following a violent incident in Hollister, California. This gave rise to the One Percenters or Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs. These clubs cut their one-piece patches into three to distinguish themselves from the rest of the law-abiding groups. A 1% diamond-shaped patch can also be used with the three-piece patch. To show that they are the 1% outlaw.
Motorcycle patches can have hundreds of meanings and their symbols can represent anything. Usually only the genuine members of the group truly know the meaning behind these emblems. Here are some common symbols and their meanings.
1% – as stated by the AMA, these are the unrecognized outlaw motorcycle groups.
13 – This is used to symbolize the letter M, which can stand for various meanings, such as motorcycle, marijuana, methamphetamine, or a secret meaning known only to members.
It can also mean “12 members of the jury and a judge”, which symbolizes that no one can judge them. We are our own judge and jurors.
9er: symbolizes that the motorcyclist has Native American blood since the ninth letter of the alphabet is I.
Ace of Spades – This is a symbol for the bringer of death. It means that the rider is willing to kill for the group. Or maybe it already has.
Bad influence: shows that the motorcyclist is crazy.
DILLIGAF: This is an acronym for “Do I Look like I Give a F ***”
FF – forever, forever is used with the group’s title at the beginning and end, as in Hell’s Angels’ AFFA and Sons of Silence’s SFFS.
Flags: can be used to indicate the location or origin of the group.
ITCOB. – this is an acronym for “I took care of business”
MC or MCC – This is an acronym for “Motorcycle Cycle Club”.
Men of Mayhem – Badges or pins given to members who have killed on behalf of the group.
Nomad: used in the lower rocket to indicate a person without a particular direction. Only a few can truly live with this title.
Skull and Crossbones: The patch means “Respect a few, fear no one”. In some cases, the crossed bones are replaced by swords.
It can also show that the member has killed someone in the group.
Swastika and Nazi Symbols – This does not necessarily mean that motorcyclists are Nazis, but rather shows that they reject the rules of society.
Wings – Generally used to display achievements. They can sometimes have a sexual meaning, but are mostly believed to be jokes.
Red Wings shows that the motorcyclist had oral sex with a menstruating woman.
Green Wings shows that the motorcyclist had sex with a woman with a sexually transmitted disease.
Yellow wings shows that the motorcyclist drank female urine.
Purple wings shows that the motorcyclist had sex with a body
The patches can also show a rider’s position in the gang. This can include president, vice president, secretary, and sergeant at arms. For outlaw groups, it can only be used on the territory and must be turned in when the rider leaves the group.
No matter what the meaning is, patches are treated with honor and respect so it is a great privilege to have the right to wear the group’s emblem and call it your own.