The United States Antarctic Program (USAP) wasn’t always known by its’ current four-letter acronym. From the establishment of the country’s first permanent Antarctic research station during the International Geophysical Year in 1959 through approximately 1986/’87, the program was referred to as the “United States Antarctic Research Program”, or “USARP”. The program’s logo and official patch, while similar to the current iconic USAP patch design, was slightly smaller than the modern patch and colored blue instead of red.
The patch features the outline of Antarctica with the meridians converging at the Geographic South Pole, with the lettering “United States Antarctic Research Program – National Science Foundation”. The design features a converging group of lines of latitude and longitude that resembles a ship’s wheel (possibly in reference to the US Navy, which supported Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica from 1955 through their replacement by the Air National Guard in 1998).
The modern USAP patch, which replaced the USARP patch sometime in the late 1980s, is 3.5 inches in diameter, and is featured on the official Antarctic Program “Big Red” parkas and jackets issued to every researcher or worker visiting the Antarctic. The replacement US Government patch design was later copied by Canada Goose, the maker of the official heavy duty “Big Red” down parkas worn by Antarctic researchers, for their popular civilian line of “Canada Goose Arctic Program” parkas.
This patch, which has been out of production for decades, is a faithful reproduction based on the patch from a 50-year-old vintage USARP parka found in storage in the Antarctic. This beautiful, historical patch can be a great conversation piece for Antarctic enthusiasts, a morale patch for science enthusiasts, or a vivid addition to a parka, jacket, backpack, or vest. The patch features 100% embroidery, a sturdy merrowed edge, and an iron-on backing to easily add a touch of the Ice to your outfit!
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