A wheel has been the symbol of Rotary since our earliest days. The first design was made by Chicago Rotarian Montague Bear, an engraver who drew a simple wagon wheel, with a few lines to show dust and motion.

The wheel was said to illustrate "Civilization and Movement." Most of the early clubs had some form of wagon wheel on their publications and letterheads. Finally, in 1922, it was decided that all Rotary clubs should adopt a single design as the exclusive emblem of Rotarians. Thus, in 1923, the present gear wheel with 24 cogs and six spokes was adopted by the "Rotary International Association."

A group of engineers advised that the gear wheel was mechanically unsound and would not work without a "keyway" in the centre of the gear to attach it to a power shaft. So, in 1923 the keyway was added and the design which we now know was formally adopted as the official Rotary International emblem.

Rotary International and the Clubs and Districts therein have several types of pins that members can wear. It is a way of identifying an individual as a Rotarian.

Fig. 1

Here are club pins (Fig 1) from various clubs in California. Starting with the top left: Yucaipa, with a rider on a horse and large oak tree; Niles Fremont, with steam engine; San Gorgonio Pass, with the sun coming up through the pass; March Field, (now dissolved) honoring March Air Reserve Base with the bi-plane. The bottom two pictures are a unique design. The Rotary Club of Beaumont, Cherry Valley had discs made with the club logo. On the bottom left is the disc, with a small hole in the center. The disc is affixed to the collar by putting a Rotary International pin through the hole and attaching a clutch back, as seen in the picture on the bottom right.

Rotary International conventions also have pins (Fig. 2). The top ones are from the conventions in Chicago and New Orleans; both of the bottom pins are from San Antonio.

Fig. 2

There are also pins with the Rotary International logo and flags of (starting with top left) America and Turkey, Scotland, Bangladesh, and America. (Fig.3).

Fig. 3


Last, the President-Elect of Rotary International each year adopts a theme, and a logo is developed. Here are some theme pins used by RI (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4



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