In researching embroidered patches for my employer
The United States Air Force has the largest variety of vintage patches I could find online. There are over 14,000 emblems approved by the Air Force Historical Research Agency. Many of these have been produced into a patch and worn on uniform. There are literally hundreds of emblems submitted annually to The USAF in the hopes of being approved to become an official Air Force Patch.
Today wearing an embroidered patch has also become a great way to market a name, brand or company. Custom patches can be ordered in many forms, iron-on patches are more common for the Boys and Girls Scouts of America, also known as 'Scout Patches', and even Martial arts schools. Motorcycle clubs and gangs are notorious for their patch covered leather jackets, Mostly symbolic of rank and affiliation these patches are worn with great pride. The biker patch can be custom made no matter how risque, typically colorful and very detailed, Some are even memorials to fallen members.
Law Enforcement agencies, Emergency responders and Security guards typically wear sew-on patches, which are typically more durable. A new addition to the patch family the Velcro backed patch has become pretty popular with patch enthusiasts. In society today nearly every where you go, you run into someone wearing a patch or emblem; Restaurants, sports teams, little league, delivery drivers, law enforcement, emergency responders, mechanics, maintenance workers, plumbers I could go on and on. The bottom line a patch is a great way to market a name, show affiliation, or even give tribute to a lost loved one.