Olympic Games 1948 London

14th Olympiad


Sports: 21

Events: 153

National Teams: 59

Participants: 4,396


   Badges 1948

The Executive Committee ruled at an early date that the badges to be issued to competitors and officials for the Games would be for purposes of identification and as souvenirs only and not to give admission to Olympic venues or other centres. The general principles that have grown up with various Olympic Games were followed in that the finish of the metal of which the badge was to be made would vary according to the category of person to whom it was issued. In addition the ribbon to be attached to the badges was to be distinctive to the group to which the wearer belonged, by colour or overprinting.

Estimates of the number of badges required were drawn up by reference to those numbers issued at Berlin and Los Angeles, and by correlating these figures against the anticipated attendance at the London Games. In addition to this, national governing bodies of sport in Great Britain were asked to give some idea of the number of officials that they expected would be required for the conduct of their sports. In retrospect, the number of badges provided was, within well-defined limits, reasonably accurate although due to a misunderstanding of the regulations applying to the sports officials entitled to badges, there was a certain amount of over-issue to this class of person, which necessitated the Organising Committee having to strike a few extra during the course of and directly after the Games.

The ribbon for all the badges was supplied by the makers with the exception of the special International Olympic Committee ribbon which was supplied to the Organising Committee as a gift. A schedule of the types of badges issued, together with the numbers and details of distribution, is included in the statistical section of this Report.

Distribution of Badges and Medals

A fundamental principle, agreed by the Executive Committee, was that where a person was entitled to a badge of more than one classification, he should be issued with that badge which indicated his highest rank within the Olympic framework. That is to say, a member of a National Olympic Committee who was also a member of the I.O.C., received the I.O.C. badge. The official of an Olympic Committee who was also a president or secretary of an international federation wore the international federation badge. 

(i) International Olympic Committee. The badges, commemorative awards and travel and stadium passes for members of the I.O.C. were distributed to these gentlemen in the folders placed before them at the Congress of the I.O.C. held immediately prior to the Games.

(ii) International Federation Officials and Judges. It was agreed that the technical representative of the national governing body of each sport should receive from the Organising Committee the badges and awards for the members of his international federation, together with the necessary badges and commemorative medals for the operating officials in each sport. It was clearly laid down that no issue should be made until the arrival of the president or secretary of the international federation in Great Britain. As the badges and medals were felt to be of some value from an historic point of view, the Organising Committee urged all national governing bodies to limit the issue of these articles to those officials who played an active part in the conduct of the sport. It was felt that if all officials from the most important umpire, referee or timekeeper down to those persons of lesser stature within the framework were to receive badges and medals, the value of both articles as mementoes would be seriously impaired. As all sports place the status of their various officials differently, even those having the same titles, it was impossible to lay down any hard and fast rules, but as far as possible it was suggested to the sporting associations that the line should be drawn where the officials ceased to require international federation approval to their appointment.

(iii) Visiting Delegations and Teams. The issue of badges, commemorative awards and travel passes was conducted by the Technical Department through an officer who interviewed the Chef de Mission of each team on arrival, and agreed with him by reference to the nominal roll provided, the number of each class of badge to which that team was entitled. The Chef de Mission was also responsible for collecting, in the name of his National Olympic Committee, the badges and medals for the Committee members and officials accompanying the team. When he had provided the information as to his requirements, he received a requisition form which he presented to the Technical Department Stores Officer and was issued with his quota of badges and medals. An exception was made to this procedure in the case of the competitors and officials for the yachting, equestrian, modern pentathlon, shooting, canoeing and rowing events, who were housed outside the London area. In these cases each Chef de Mission supplied the necessary information as before and informed the Technical Department of the name of an appropriate officer of his team at the appropriate outlying housing centre who should receive the medals and badges. The necessary badges and medals were then despatched from the Headquarters to Aldershot, Bisley, etc., and the issue made direct at that housing centre.

In the light of experience gained in the distribution of these items in the London Games, certain conclusions can be drawn. In regard to the issue of badges and awards to officials of federations and participating officials in the sports, it would be more satisfactory if these were issued by the international federation office set up for each sport. The success or failure of the distribution to national delegations depends upon the number of staff available in the Organising Committee offices, together with the amount of office accommodation allocated for this purpose. As many Chefs de Mission attend at the same time, a system of multiple interviewing and pre-arranged counter distribution is suggested in order that the visiting official may not be required to spend too much time at the Organising Committee offices in collecting his entitlement.

It is, of course, essential that the entitlement be properly established against certified nominal rolls submitted by the Chef de Mission. As the nominal rolls in the case of the London Games were those used for travel purposes, many names appeared of persons accompanying the delegations who were not entitled to badges, and consequently valuable time was wasted in determining which names must be removed from these lists.

(Source document:   Official Report 1948,  page 75, 76)


List of all Official Badges 1948:

Arena, Manager
Chef de Mission
Housing, Manager
IF, President
IF, Secretary
NOC, Member
NOC, President
Official, Athletics
Official, NOC
Official, Basketball
Official, Boxing
Official, Canoeing
Official, Cycling
Official, Demonstration
Official, Equestrian
Official, Fencing
Official, Football
Official, Gymnastics
Official, Hockey
Official, Modern Pentathlon
Official, Rowing
Official, Shooting
Official, Swimming
Official, Weightlifting
Official, Wrestling
Official, Yachting
Organizing Committee, Executive
Organizing Committee, Grand Count
Participant, Athletics
Participant, Basketball
Participant, Boxing
Participant, Canoeing
Participant, Cycling
Participant, Demonstration
Participant, Equestrian
Participant, Fencing
Participant, Football
Participant, Gymnastics
Participant, Hockey
Participant, Modern Pentathlon
Participant, Rowing
Participant, Shooting
Participant, Swimming
Participant, Weightlifting
Participant, Wrestling
Participant, Yachting
Spare, Emergency use
Team, Assistant
Team, Manager

Other Olympic Official Badges: