Scottish Fire Service Badges



The badge with fire surrounded by water was designed in 1949 although the history of its composition can be traced back many hundreds of years.  It is a spray of water attacking a flash of flame between two thistles. The double ring circle which carries the brigade title is representative of unbroken service and loyalty. The red background of the circle is symbolic of magnanimity and nobleness. The eight pointed star was decided upon by the Central Fire Brigades Advisory Council but for what reasons no one seems quite sure. Two stories have been put forward to explain the symbol and its up to the individual to decide. The first is that the emblem was taken from the Cross of Calvary and each point signifies a human quality tact, perseverance, gallantry, loyalty, dexterity, explicitness, observation and sympathy. The second is that the star was taken from the Crusaders who used a similar star for displaying certain orders of chivalry. Each point of the star represented one of the Eight Beatitudes.

(ADO Gerard Gallacher talking about the Strathclyde Fire Brigade Badge in Strathclyde Fireman Edition 1 December 1975. The SFRS badge is the same as the SFB one.)


The badge is made up of The Home Office Star, red ring, gilt enamel Coat of Arms. A heraldic jet of water playing on a fire over the Scottish National Emblem (Thistle in a golden field). The description of the star and red ring are as above.

(British Fire Service Cap Badges and Buttons 1947-1974 Volume II)


The eight pointed star is the Cross of St. John, it originated in the Maltese Cross, the emblem of the Knights of Malta, and was used by the Knights of St john of Jerusalem at the time of The Crusades.

(British Fire Service Cap Badges and Buttons 1974-1985 Volume I)







On the 1st April 1996, following Local Government Reorganisation administration of the Fife Brigade was transferred to Fife Council Protective Services Committee. I think it was at this time the knight on a horse was added above the flame and water, perhaps a Fife Council Coat of Arms?