My Dad Built Cars in Detroit

 
 
My father worked at Dodge Main in Hamtramck, Michigan well into the late 1950s. Above is his workman's ID badge and his retiree pin from the U.A.W.
 
The feathers are mementos I keep from a time in my dad's day when gentlemen all wore hats. I remember how he would doff his hat whenever we drove past a Catholic church.
 
I noticed what looks like a Star of David on the badge. The exact reason why that symbol is there is not known for sure. Here are some speculations:
 
 
What's the meaning behind the Dodge Brothers emblem?
 
Unfortunately, John and Horace Dodge died before they publicly told anyone how they arrived at this symbol. If any family members knew the reasons behind this, nothing was ever revealed or discovered. Apparently no one thought to ask them!
 

Among the possibilities:
 

1. These are two interlocking Greek letter "deltas" or "D s" for the two Dodge brothers
 

2. A medieval symbol of mysticism and the joining of mind and body, also possibly the joining of two brothers, who were known to be personally very close, in this business venture.
 

3. An abstraction of the square and compass of the Freemasons.
 

4. Nothing more or less than a badge with six pointed star similar to those used for law-enforcement officer's badges, some outlined with triangles. Sheriff, Marshall, and police badges frequently were and are six pointed stars. The old-west Dodge City badge had six points. Horace Dodge was said to enjoy accompanying local law-enforcement officers on their runs.
 

5. There are other instances of a company 'logo" selected for no particular deep meaning other than that it suited the fancy of those who selected it. The Chevrolet "bowtie" is a classic example, as it was copied from the wall paper of a hotel room.
 

6. At the time the emblem was selected (most likely 1912-1914) it's likely that the Dodge brothers were unaware of its use in Judaism. In fact, at this time, that symbol was not used universally in this context.
 

Rumors that are wrong include:
 

1. They chose the "Star of David" as a Jewish symbol to anger Henry Ford.
Fact: The brothers were actually friends with Ford at the time the emblem was selected. They were business partners with Ford and even were guests at Edsel Ford's wedding.
 

2. They chose the "Star of David" as a Jewish symbol to appease Jewish bankers who financed the business.
Fact: There were no outside investors.
 

3. The Dodge Brothers were Jewish
Fact: They were not.

 
 

 



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