This name is very much a generalization right now -- as discussed on my talk page, this uniform and rank stripe set was also now revealed to be in use in the 2240s by IDW's Crew. We know that these lasted until the 2260s, but no solid beginning date is established. We also are about to see more details in upcoming productions about a different uniform that was in use in the year 2233, as first seen on the licensed ST website: Starfleet Shipyard from Intel. This means these uniforms & ranks we currently identify as "2250s" may be better described as "2240s" but may even be "2230s" -- Captain MKB 17:56, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Ensigns and Cadets Edit

What insignia do ensigns and cadets wear in this phase?

In Early Voyages, Colt doesn't wear a sleeve stripe on her duty uniform until issue 10, when she began to wear a solid gold stripe (i.e. not a CPO stripe). The stripe stayed until issue 13, when it disappeared while she was in an alternate future. In issues 16 and 17, after her return, she didn't have stripes in several panels, but Number One's stripes are also missing in many panels (they do appear in some). The series was plagued by rank errors at first, but had cleared them up by about issue 8, except the last two issues, which were drawn by a different artist. (Editorial commented on the earlier errors on the letters page.)

Captain's Log: Pike, established that Pike put Colt in for immediate promotion just after the Enterprise returned from Talos IV. It's possible that her sleeve stripe represented a promotion from ensign to lieutenant. Twelve years later, she was a captain, which would have been difficult if she weren't an officer in Early Voyages.

All of the officers shown wearing sold gold stripes on these uniforms whose ranks are known are lieutenants or above, except in Star Trek: Crew, where Number One, Griggs, etc. are called "cadets," and an admiral is shown wearing a single solid gold stripe. Number One, etc. might be lieutenants, like Kirk, et al. in the 2009 movie. Crew does say that they're part of that year's graduating class, like dialogue suggested Kirk was in the movie. Finnegan is shown not wearing stripes as a cadet, and Colt etc. don't wear them in the Early Voyages Talosian illusion of the Academy.

I think it's possible that lieutenants and above wear a solid gold stripe, CPOs wear a complicated gold stripe, and ensigns, cadets and junior enlisted crew wear no stripes. Is there evidence that shows that ensigns and non-Lt cadets wear stripes? --Archimedean 22:35, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

While that's possible as an alternate interpretation, it is also possible that she was enlisted, but became eligible for officer's commission with that promotion, perhaps due to her previous Academy attendance.
I'm afraid that both your postulation on ensigns and the current article status required some open interpretation to formulate. The article was written with the interpretation that the ranks were sequential from no stripe (enl) to open-braided stripe (nco) to solid stripe (officer). Your interpretation is based on the length of time it takes to become captain, which is obviously subjective, and the assumption of officer's status stemming immediately from Academy attendance, which is not written in stone, as the future service is only quasi-military with some parts of the rank structure being only loosely defined at times, in canon Star Trek.
As to Crew, I could see the group being transitional officer cadets that were properly wearing their officer insignia, and I'm not sure what to make of the one-stripe admiral except to group it with one-stripe Pike as a possible casual wear of an officer's uniform. -- Captain MKB 23:40, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
I know my suggestion is as speculative as the current article. I favor it over the simple stripe progression, but my point here was to make a case that was as solid as the article's, for a different system.
I think that ensigns should be separated from the other officer ranks on the table, and marked as "insignia unestablished," like CPOs and LCRs on Earth Starfleet ranks. Between Crew, Early Voyages and TOS, the insignia for all other ranks has been firmly established, but insignia for ensign can be argued - not demonstrated - either way. --Archimedean 00:26, September 13, 2010 (UTC)
I spoke too soon. Crew issue 5 shows Spock as an ensign, and his sleeve is consistently drawn without insignia. All lieutenants, etc. are consistently drawn with a single solid stripe. --Archimedean 00:29, September 13, 2010 (UTC)
I see that your notations on the table below indicate that a red-shirted ensign also appeared (in "Shakedown") with no sleeve insignia. You leave out, though, that Number One appeared with a stripe on her sleeve in "The Bottle", where she was addressed as "Ensign." (The stripe actually appears in one of the 'Gray uniforms' pictures you posted below.)
With Number One established as an ensign after "Shakedown", her cadet sleeve insignia becomes an issue again. We saw cadets in three episodes of TOS: Finnegan in "Court Martial", and unnamed background cadets in the field in "Wolf in the Fold" and "The Trouble with Tribbles". We learned from "Republic" that Finnegan was graduated from the academy in 2251, and that Kirk joined the academy only a year before. (This is corroborated by "Shore Leave", in which Kirk called Finnegan 'an upperclassman', and the simulated Finnegan called Kirk 'plebe').
That seems to establish two things that are important to questions you raise: First, at least some cadets in their last year wear uniforms that don't have stripes (this allows your interpretation of Colt's uniform at the academy). Second, at least some cadets in the field do wear silver uniforms that might appear gray. It appears that either some cadets and ensigns wear stripes and some don't, or the stripes in the first two Crew comics are incorrect.
It's theoretically possible that the 15-year veteran is either a career enlisted crewman turned officer, or is an instructor wearing a training uniform of some sort, like those used by professors in Early Voyages and seen in Fletcher's uniform chart for the TOS movies (as red slashes on otherwise division-colored shoulder and sleeve bands). I don't think that there's sufficient evidence to conclude that a gray uniform division exists. --Columbia clipper 02:07, September 18, 2010 (UTC)
"Academy: Collision Course" states that cadets wear both gray unifoms and silver uniforms. The former are called 'basic grays' and 'standard gray midshipman's uniforms'. (The use of the term midshipman isn't new; "Harbinger" refers to Suzie Finneran as 'Midshipman Cadet'.) Also, in "Captain's Peril", Finnegan is established as having been an ensign during Kirk's senior year, which is the rank held by Number One in "The Bottle". Both of those pieces of information seem to support the idea that no non-cadet gray division exists. I don't think that one should be included in the rank table.
"Academy: Collision Course" also establishes that enlisted trainees wear white uniforms (called "recruit whites"), that include a white baseball cap with a red Starfleet chevron (this probably refers to the delta emblem, but might also be the 'boomerang', or something else). This tracks with the suggestion that Colt was an officer cadet. I think there's enough evidence in support of that assertion - particularly in the absence of evidence against it - that we should conclude it true, pending any evidence against. --Columbia clipper 03:45, September 19, 2010 (UTC)

Gray uniforms Edit

Crew issue 2 shows light blue-gray uniforms, worn by Griggs and Number One. These are shown alongside the darker, saturated blue uniforms; they're definitely a different color. --Archimedean 00:54, September 13, 2010 (UTC)

Here are two panels that show the gray and blue uniforms together:
Gray and blue uniforms
--Archimedean 05:23, September 13, 2010 (UTC)
I think this could be an occurrence of cadet silver gray. I don't share your belief that there is an entire gray division. -- Captain MKB 14:04, September 13, 2010 (UTC)

A catalog of rank images Edit


Commodore Strickland
Strickland (EV comic: "Futures, Part One")

Where No Man Kirk Sleeve
Kirk (TOS episode: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")

Lieutenant Commander:
Where No Man Mitchell Sleeve
Mitchell (TOS episode: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")

Menagerie Spock sleeve
Spock (TOS episode: "The Menagerie")

Lieutenant Junior Grade:
Ghosts Number One sleeve
Number One (TOS comic: "Ghosts")

Eternity Spock sleeve
Eternity two sleeves
Spock (TOS comic: "The Ends of Eternity")

Shore Leave Finnegan sleeve
Finnegan (TOS episode: "Shore Leave")

Chief Petty Officer:
Menagerie Garrison sleeve
Garrison (TOS episode: "The Menagerie")

Where No Man Smith sleeve
Smith (TOS episode: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")


Pike Spock Talos
Pike (TOS episode: "The Menagerie")

Lieutenant Commander:
Cage senior sleeve
Number One (TOS episode: "The Menagerie")

Pike Spock Talos
Spock (TOS episode: "The Menagerie")

Eternity Spock jacket
Eternity two jacket sleeves
Spock (TOS comic: "The Ends of Eternity")

Laser crewman sleeve
Laser cannon crewman (TOS episode: "The Menagerie")


The best canon image of Colt's sleeve I can find:
(The bottom of her sleeve is usually completely behind her back or otherwise hidden.)
Colt briefing
(TOS episode: "The Menagerie")

Colt in Nor Iron Bars a Cage:
Iron Bars Colt sleeve

Colt in The Fallen:
Colt The Fallen

Colt in Futures, Part One:
Colt Futures 1

Colt at the Academy in Nor Iron Bars a Cage:
Iron Bars academy sleeve

Colt's jacket sleeves in The Menagerie:
Colt sleeve 1

Colt sleeve 2

--Archimedean 04:05, September 13, 2010 (UTC)

I found a better canon picture of Colt's tunic sleeve:
Colt sleeve 3
(TOS episode: "The Menagerie") --Archimedean 06:21, September 13, 2010 (UTC)

Proposed rank tableEdit

Division names are placeholders. Uniform and stripe colors are matched to those in The Menagerie, where applicable. Officers' tunic stripes are slightly lighter and more golden than those used in The Menagerie, to reflect the gold tunic stripes used in Where No Man Has Gone Before. Red and gray uniforms are from the Crew miniseries.

grade command division
(command, helm)
operations division
navigation, communications,
engineering, security)
science division
(medical, science)
service jacket
(all divisions)
enlisted uniform
recruit 2240s white sleeve[1] 2240s white sleeve[2] 2240s white sleeve[1] Insignia unestablished
crewman 2240s gold sleeve[3] 2240s coral sleeve[1] 2240s blue sleeve[1] 2250s enlisted jacket[4]
petty officer second class 2240s gold sleeve[3] 2240s coral sleeve[1] 2240s blue sleeve[1] 2250s enlisted jacket[4]
petty officer first class 2240s gold sleeve[3] 2240s coral sleeve[1] 2240s blue sleeve[1] 2250s enlisted jacket[4]
chief petty officer 2240s gold cpo[1] 2240s coral cpo[5] 2240s blue cpo[1] 2250s officer jacket[5]
senior chief petty officer 2240s gold cpo[1] 2240s coral cpo[5] 2240s blue cpo[1] 2250s officer jacket[1]
master chief petty officer 2240s gold cpo[1] 2240s coral cpo[5] 2240s blue cpo[1] 2250s officer jacket[1]
cadet uniform
basic gray
(primarily underclassmen)
2240s gray sleeve[1] 2240s gray sleeve[6] 2240s gray sleeve[1] 2240s blank jacket sleeve[1]
duty uniform 2240s gold sleeve[1] 2240s coral sleeve[1] 2240s blue sleeve[7] 2240s blank jacket sleeve[8]
service uniform
(primarily upperclassmen)
2240s cadet sleeve[9] 2240s cadet sleeve[1] 2240s cadet sleeve[1] 2240s blank jacket sleeve[1]
officer uniform
ensign 2240s gold sleeve[1] 2240s coral sleeve[10] 2240s blue sleeve[11] 2240s blank jacket sleeve[11]
lieutenant j.g. 2240s gold officer[1] 2240s coral officer[12] 2240s blue officer[1] 2250s officer jacket[1]
lieutenant 2240s gold officer[13] 2240s coral officer[14] 2240s blue officer[15] 2250s officer jacket[15]
lieutenant commander 2240s gold officer[16] 2240s coral officer[17] 2240s blue officer[15] 2250s officer jacket[18]
commander 2240s gold captain[19] 2240s coral captain[20] 2240s blue captain[1] 2250s officer jacket[1]
captain 2240s gold captain[21] 2240s coral captain[20] 2240s blue captain[1] 2250s officer jacket[22]
commodore 2240s gold flag[23] 2240s coral flag[1] 2240s blue flag[1] Insignia unestablished
admiral (various) Insignia unestablished
alternate colors
2240s green sleeve[24] 2240s red sleeve[25] 2240s white sleeve[26]
  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 Image derived by combining uniform, rank insignia and division colors derived from other sources.
  2. James T. Kirk (TOS novel: Academy: Collision Course)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Barbara Smith (TOS episode: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Laser cannon crewmen. (TOS episode: "The Menagerie")
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Garrison (TOS episode: "The Menagerie")
  6. J. Mia Colt (EV comic: "Nor Iron Bars a Cage")
  7. McCormick (TOS comic: "Shakedown")
  8. Number One TOS comic: "The Bottle"
  9. Sean Finnegan (TOS episode: "Shore Leave")
  10. J. Mia Colt (TOS episode: "The Menagerie")
  11. 11.0 11.1 Spock (TOS comic: "The Ends of Eternity")
  12. Number One ({{c|TOS|Ghosts (TOS)|Ghosts})
  13. Jose Tyler (TOS episode: "The Menagerie")
  14. Lee Kelso (TOS episode: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Spock (TOS episode: "The Menagerie")
  16. Spock (TOS episode: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")
  17. Gary Mitchell (TOS episode: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")
  18. Number One (TOS episode: "The Menagerie")
  19. Kelway (TOS comic: "All Those Years Ago...")
  20. 20.0 20.1 Ramart (TOS episode: "Charlie X")
  21. James T. Kirk (TOS episode: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")
  22. Christopher Pike (TOS episode: "The Menagerie")
  23. Strickland (EV comic: "Futures, Part One")
  24. James T. Kirk (TOS comic: "All Those Years Ago...")
  25. Murphy (TOS comic: "Shakedown")
  26. Philip Boyce (TOS comic: "All Those Years Ago...")

--Archimedean 07:45, September 13, 2010 (UTC)

Discussion of proposalEdit

I like the jacket sleeves, they are clearer than using the previous placeholder image and illustrate the subject better.
As I said last night, you are introducing some major changes to the rest of the set. I think that, because of this, the community should vote on the images at our Memory Beta:Votes for approval of supplemental images page to work out the kinks i see in the idea to throw out all the previous images.
For example, why are the red uniforms a pale dusty rose? I think you are making style choices that don't reflect what you are trying to illustrate, and it will make these graphics inferior to the ones they are replacing.
Also for example, as posted above, I disagree with your assumption that there is a gray uniform division. It could be explained as the midshipman/cadet uniform seen in canon. -- Captain MKB 14:11, September 13, 2010 (UTC)
The red uniforms are pale because they were pale in Crew issue 5, the only appearance of them I know of. I boosted the saturation a little because I didn't like how pale they looked when they were a color closer to the one in the comic.
Crew 5 uniform colors
The gray uniforms might be meant to be the cadet uniforms, but I don't think they are. First, in Crew issue 1, all cadets who are part of the NX-0002 (later Enterprise) training cruise are in regular tunic colors. Number One wears a coral/brown uniform, Griggs and Ramirez blue, etc. In Crew issue 2, Number One and Ramirez both wear gray. An older, balding man called "Doc" may also wear it. His uniform looks slightly bluer, but the issue's blue uniforms are vividly blue (the officer pictured with Number One is the chief engineer).
Crew 2 doc
Gray and blue uniforms
Second, only Number One, Griggs, maybe "Doc", and one other crewmember are shown with gray uniforms. At one point, Griggs, calls an officer in a normal tunic color by his first name. That wouldn't usually be appropriate behavior for a cadet. The "other crewmember" (or another person wearing the same color as Number One) says at the end of the issue "I was aboard that bucket of bolts for more than 15 years!"
Fortune survivors
Third, in Crew issue 1, an officer says that a classmate of Number One's is "in this year's graduating class." In Crew issue 2, she beams down to a planet when the Fortune's captain orders "Six crew members at the top of the duty roster, report to the transporter room." The general context suggests that she's a regular member of the Fortune's crew.
Okay, the supplemental route is fine with me. (Is that regular procedure? I see only one set of ranks on Memory Beta:Votes for approval of supplemental images/approved.) --Archimedean 17:07, September 13, 2010 (UTC)
It is possible for a cadet to be a full member of a vessels crew also, as part of a cadet cruise or undergraduate service program -- look at Saavik, Nog, the nameless cadet crew sometimes seen on assignments in TOS.
There are other red uniforms in some DC Comics that are fully saturated as TOS uniforms are.
I know you refuse to ackowledge the point, but lighting is always a factor in both illustrations and photos and there's no way to make simplified little graphics address all possible lighting schemes.
Since these graphics on this site are only supposed to communicate the general appearance of the ranks, I'd say going with a simplified appearance - the current set of images before yours were added - would be preferable, and I will vote that way. -- Captain MKB 17:20, September 13, 2010 (UTC)
I'd appreciate it if you'd be willing to discuss the issue further before making up your mind about your vote.
I know that it's possible for a cadet to be a full member of a ship's or station's crew. A cadet also serves as a Yeoman in Vanguard. But the cadets shown on the NX-0002 in the 2240s wear the same uniforms as other crew members. Two of those cadets are among the crew members later shown in gray uniforms. Canon shows cadets wearing normal tunic colors aboard ship in the mid-22nd Century in the alternate universe. I know this doesn't directly apply, but I think it's circumstantially useful; the two cultures are supposed to be essentially similar.
Even if Number One and Griggs still were cadets, the officer/crewman seen standing next to them at the end of the issue is wearing the same color and says that he's been aboard the Fortune for 15 years. "Doc"'s uniform is also unexplained; his uniform color is very different from the chief engineer's blue uniform, but Grigg's uniform in the panel showing "Doc" is the same color as Number One's in the two panels with the chief engineer. He might be wearing a shiny blue tunic like McCoy's, which could look lighter in direct light than the engineer's does, but the veteran officer/crewman's uniform would still be unexplained.
Haven't I mentioned lighting? I'm sure I commented on its effects on the jacket colors and jacket stripe colors. Even if I didn't, lighting is the reason I included multiple panels that show both of the blue and gray uniforms, both far apart and side-by-side, and chose a picture of the crew at the end that shows crew members in other uniform colors, to show that the veteran officer/crewman is wearing the same color Number One and Griggs are.
Could you point me to the TOS comics with red 2240s-2260s uniforms? I'll be happy to fix the color. I don't like the red I used any more than you do.
Even without the gray uniforms, I think the new images are preferable. They more accurately reflect the colors of the uniforms shown on TOS. (I looked at many different lighting conditions in The Menagerie, Charlie X, and Where No Man Has Gone Before and used the colors that most consistently matched.) This layout also shows that ensigns do not have sleeve stripes, as established in Crew issue 5, actually lists the ranks known to have been used during these years (the article is called "Federation Starfleet ranks (2240s-2260s)", not "Federation Starfleet rank insignia (2240s-2260s)"), and doesn't presume a rank insignia for commander where none has been established (so far as has been sourced or I can find). --Archimedean 17:45, September 13, 2010 (UTC)
There is a red uniform at Unnamed Starfleet personnel#2250s_Academy_instructor -- you'll see it is the regular TOS red.
I see what you've missed with the gray-blue doctor -- that individual is wearing the short sleeve "Scrubs" uniform seen on McCoy in TOS -- not a separate division, but a different type of uniform that shows up differently on film and in lighting.
If you ever see a picture of Spock and McCoy side by side while Spock in in longsleeves and McCoy is wearing his short sleeves, you see the fabric looks lighter even though they are both wearing the blue of science division. -- Captain MKB 17:52, September 13, 2010 (UTC)

I'm not going to address most of your guys' points, but here are the things that jump out to me: Both the current and these new colours seem off to me. The currents ones are definitely too vibrant, but I think the new versions are also too subtle, something in between would be a good compromise; the new "coral" and gold in particular are quite hard to tell apart. I think lighting is less important in this discussion than artistic interpretation. We have basically the following:

  • What we see on screen, quite muted colours (in any lighting).
  • Modern IDW comics have featured these uniforms several times and universally and accurately reflected those muted originals.
  • Early Voyages took some liberties, they have one gold uniform rather than the gold and coral for instance. The overall design of Early Voyages is also a bit more vibrant, though still less so generally than main era TOS uniforms.
  • DC comics featuring these uniforms are very vibrant because the DC comics used an older printing technique with more simplified colours. So I think we need to take those with a pinch of salt, always remembering that canon takes precedence.

So I think canon and the modern comics need to be our lead here. Alien Spotlight: Vulcans is probably quite a good example of a compromise level of vibrancy, it keeps the general muted tones, but also hints at a slightly more vibrant colouring like those in EV. --8of5 18:14, September 13, 2010 (UTC)

In reference to the existing set, I agree that the vibrance could be decreased. In fact, if anyone had brought that up as an issue with the existing images, it could have been addressed without necessitating an entire new set. But that's apparently not how our new contributor works.
The reason, however, for the increased saturation is illustrative. It is very difficult to note the difference between the two similar divisions in normal lighting. I believe they need to be stepped up just a bit from the norm in order to show that they are different. That's why I would have like to maintain the graphics as existing, with possible minor adjustments, and possibly show screencaps to show further detail like texture of the stripes, etc. I don't believe these small graphics would be at all effective in portraying the stripe texture changes that did occur between the two major canon appearances of these insignia. -- Captain MKB 18:22, September 13, 2010 (UTC)

I think I'm missing something here, other than the vibrancy differences, minor variations in how the stripes are drawn, and the addition of a grey colour and omission of green in this newer set, I can’t see much else that is different. What is in contention?

And I agree we need to make sure we can tell the gold and "coral" colours apart, but I think we can do that while keeping the colours overall accurately muted. That's why I referenced the Alien Spotlight issue, it does a good job of making those colours a little more distinct while still respecting the onscreen style. --8of5 18:35, September 13, 2010 (UTC)

I find that I agree -- the new set is far too muted to be used. The red doesn't do it for me, and I can't readily tell the difference between the gold and sand color uniforms. I would have been more than happy to edit the existing set to tone down the vibrancy and I guess that suggesting a complete trashing of the existing article, after all the work I'd done, is a little discourteous.
My other problem is the reorganization of the ranks. The introduction of a new gray division color without knowing why it is there is problematic and I still find myself not sharing the interpretation that there is a gray division all the way up to the flag officer ranks. The TOS uniforms support cadets wearing silver gray serving on assignments and thats what I see Griggs and Number One wearing, but either way we are dealing with supposition. It would have been easier to discuss that in a separate forum than saddling it on to a complete reorganization of the system. -- Captain MKB 18:43, September 13, 2010 (UTC)

8of5, I agree with you about what our lead should be. If a uniform color has appeared in canon, canon should be our guide, otherwise colors should follow the modern comics. You're right about the gold and coral colors being difficult to tell apart, but that's canon, for good or bad. Here's an screencap of Colt and Number One, the first picture I found that showed both uniforms:
Colt and Number One
Because the uniforms colors are so hard to tell apart, earlier comics, e.g. Early Voyages, often actually treated them as the same. Colt, e.g., wears gold in Early Voyages. You probably knew all that, but I wanted to be sure, because I've been misunderstood before in this discussion. With all of that said, I agree that there's probably some room to adjust the shade just a little to made them easier to tell apart. But I don't think that those colors should be very different from what they are.
Captain Mike, thanks for the link to the academy instructor. Maybe the color on the red uniforms should be a little more saturated. I found a panel in crew that's in darker lighting and shows the uniform as a slightly more vivid red.
If you re-read what I wrote, you'll see that I suggested that "Doc" might be wearing McCoy's shiny short-sleeve uniform, and that it might look much brighter than the regular blue tunic under direct lighting. I went on to note that the veteran officer/crewman's uniform was still unexplained. Griggs addressing an officer in a colored tunic by his first name is also unexplained if he and Number One are cadets. So is the wearing of normal tunic colors by all definite cadets aboard ship in the previous issue of the same series - including Number One and Griggs.
I didn't use the existing images to suggest what I thought the colors should be because you've marked them as not being able to be modified without your permission. So, I worked up a new set of images (which wasn't much work) to show what I thought the insignia should look like.
I would appreciate it if you would refrain from snideness and hostility in discussions. This isn't the first time that you've been unnecessarily hostile toward me. You've rightly pointed out that I should have asked about some things that I haven't, but don't bother to ask me why I did something before making a snide or hostile remark about it. Maybe I frustrate you. If I do, I'm sorry. I'm also frustrated by you, but I try to not let that affect my judgment and statements. I would appreciate it if you would do the same.
Regarding trashing the existing article, I'm not advocating that. I've used your setup as the framework for the structure I proposed. I only expanded it and used different images. As I said, I would have simply modified your images if their license had allowed that. One way in which the images I made are preferable is that they've been released to the public domain, so that issue won't arise again in the future. I hope you recognize that I've done nearly as much work here as you did. I think that our efforts are equally worth considering from here. --Archimedean 18:50, September 13, 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps we should discuss the gray uniform separately. I think the appearance of the veteran crew member (15 years on the same ship, so probably not a trainee) in the same color as Number One and Griggs indicates that the uniform is worn by non-cadets, regardless of other arguments. But, like I said, maybe the gray shirts should be discussed separately.
I'll increase the saturation on the proposed images. --Archimedean 18:53, September 13, 2010 (UTC)
I have not been snide at all, despite your frustrating behavior, and I think it is a big mistake for you to take this to a personal level like that. I'm trying to get you to work with the rest of the wiki by using the framework that is here, but you are picking apart numerous subjects at once and it makes it very difficult to discuss anything. In the past two days, you've uploaded more images than I've been able to look at, including suggesting a replacement for a number of graphics that I worked hard to create. By accusing me of bad behavior, even though I was initially trying to help you include your intended changes, I really think you are breaking faith with this being a reasonable discussion. -- Captain MKB 19:01, September 13, 2010 (UTC)
It's not my intent to make this personal. I'm only asking you to refrain from making personal attacks on me. I'm frustrated by you, you are frustrated by me, but neither of us should let that affect how we deal with each other.
Unfortunately, you have been side. Less than an hour ago, you said "But that's apparently not how our new contributor works," which was snide and unnecessary. You probably didn't mean to let your frustration through like that, but it is what it is.
I've uploaded a large number of images because you asked me to. I was describing what several uniforms looked like at different times, and you asked me to upload images to cite my arguments.
If you go re-check, I think you'll see that I'm not picking apart numerous subjects at once, but am trying to address a single subject coherently. Your point is taken, though, as far as the gray uniforms. Those should probably be discussed separately from the other issues with these rank insignia.
I appreciate your hard work, and the good faith in which you tried to work with me. Please also appreciate mine. I'm not trying to accuse you of anything. I'm asking you to set your frustration aside and work with me like you would if I had never frustrated you. --Archimedean 19:11, September 13, 2010 (UTC)
Looking at this previous comment, you start off by accusing me of being snide, but then finish off by denying that you've accused me of anything. You're pretty slick, but I don't like playing word games with you at every turn. There's nothing snide about me discussing your actions. I observed that's not how you operate because I would have preferred you suggested the major change as a statement of intentions before you uploaded dozens of your own images -- that's an honest appraisal of what you are doing here. I could have adjusted the original images and saved you the trouble. As someone who has put the hard work in, that you supposedly appreciate, I would have appreciated the chance to make the original images work rather than replacing them completely. This is why I'm against the composed images you are uploading. -- Captain MKB 05:17, September 14, 2010 (UTC)
I didn't mean to accuse you of anything. I was asking you to not make this discussion personal. An accusation is the start of an argument, and an argument was not what I wanted. But here we are.
You didn't say "I would have preferred Archimedean suggest the major change as a statement of intentions before uploading dozens of his/her own images." You said "But that's apparently not how our new contributor works," which is derogatory and condescending (i.e. snide).
The great irony is that I uploaded the images because of your suggestion on my talk page that I use images to show what I was talking about, instead of just describing it. Because of the problems we'd had communicating, I set up a provisional chart to show just what I meant. I would have just modified copies of your images to illustrate the discussion, but the license for them doesn't allow modification. (I still think that a public domain license is a significant virtue of the images I created.)
I didn't ask you to modify the images yourself for the same reason that I created them: they were meant to show what I was talking about - to improve our problematic communication. I couldn't very well communicate to you what I thought the images should look like that were supposed to communicate to you what I thought the ranks should look like; the entire point of the making the images was to communicate what wasn't being communicated.
Also ironically, the chart is only a statement of intentions. It depicts what I think the actual chart should look like. That's why it's labeled "Proposed rank table", and this section is titled "Discussion of proposal."
I truly didn't mean to offend you. I don't have any objections to images I upload being revised or overridden by others; it didn't occur to me that you might be more attached to yours. I saw a great example of collaboration on Memory Beta:Votes for approval of supplemental images/approved. Columbia Clipper uploaded an image that had some problems, and 8of5 re-created a better version of it that they worked together to improve until they both were happy with it.
Right now, it sounds like you'll oppose whatever revisions I suggest or make to the images I uploaded, because I inadvertently upset you by uploading them in the first place. (Please, if I'm misreading, correct me.) I don't see how that's constructive.
It's not my intent to deprive you of an opportunity to collaborate. I'm sorry. I really didn't mean to upset you. If, when we have a look for the images that we agree on, you'd like to update the current (i.e. your) images to that look, I don't have any objection to that - except that I think public domain images are better. (What happens if you stop contributing to Memory Beta? Do the rank images need to be remade from scratch if an alteration needs to be made, or a new color added?)
Please, really, I'm not trying to shut you out of this process, and I'm not trying to accuse you of anything. I'm just trying to get this done without any personal issues being involved. --Archimedean 07:09, September 14, 2010 (UTC)

Mike you do seem to be being a bit defensive, let's all try and keep on topic and stop making anything personal or picking apart our semantics. Archimedean has followed the lead of the existing page and image format but tried to refine the images to more accurately reflect the source material, and done quite a good job of it too. I don't see how that can possibly be a bad thing? --8of5 16:20, September 14, 2010 (UTC)

I was frustrated by the fact that my insignia could also be adjusted to reflect other source material and I still intend to do that. While it could be perceived as defensive behavior, I have to say no, I'm just disappointed. My real problem is as follows:
In reference to the new set on this talk page, my current frustration is that these new version do not illustrate the differences between colors properly -- and they still don't. There have been several re-uploads with no perceptible change in the quality that this talk page discussed. Until there is a perceptible response to your and my suggestion that the saturation/color weight be improved to reflect the need for these to illustrate the difference between similar-looking divisions, I can't say they'd be a positive change. As I initially said, the gray jacket uploads are a great improvement, and should be used. But the gold, beige, blue, red insignia are not satisfactory to me to use on the page. -- Captain MKB 13:19, September 16, 2010 (UTC)

The most recent version of the gold ones seems to help separate them from the "coral" ones quite well now, before they were very similar, now they're reasonably distinct, while still doing a nice job accurately reflecting the source colours. If you want to update your existing insignia to the new colours Mike that's great, I imagine it would help get the update out across the site quicker as these are on a lot of character pages right? If you do do that you might also want to update the striped banding insignia, as from the images posted above the new not-slanty one seems to more accurately reflect what was seen onscreen. --8of5 16:07, September 16, 2010 (UTC)

No offense to you at all, Mike, but I would prefer to go with Archimedean's rank set, even if the colors of yours were changed to match them. The new insignia seems more accurate to me (the widths of the stripes look closer to those on the uniforms from the episodes, and I agree that the CPO insignia is less-angled.) Also, the lighting on the stripes and sleeves doesn't seem to match in the existing insignia. Several of the existing images are also blurry - particularly the newer ones. Mostly, though, I think Archimedean has point about public domain images versus restricted images. Having public domain insignia images would be better, all else being equal (and all else would be equal if you altered your images to look like Archimedean's.)
At the very least, we should use the cadet sleeve from above. It nicely captures the shiny look of those shirts. --Columbia clipper 02:07, September 18, 2010 (UTC)
If the link-correcting workload is an issue, I would be willing to change the links. A quick inspects shows that only roughly 40-60 pages have links to the existing insignia (not counting the images that are also used for the 2260s-2270s ranks). That shouldn't be too much trouble. --Columbia clipper 02:18, September 18, 2010 (UTC)

CDR insigniaEdit

The flashback portion of Best Destiny, set in 2249, implies that the rank insignia for lieutenant and commander were different during these years:

"In custody, Lieutenant!" the captain said quickly. He pointed at a little coffee station near the middle of the ship. "We put them in the midships deckhouse as soon as we saw that their identifications were fake. We didn't know when we hired them--" "Save it, Captain," was the growling response. "And I'm a commander."
He tapped his rank insignia with a forefinger.

Best Destiny also establishes that at least some red uniforms belong to security. --Archimedean 04:34, September 16, 2010 (UTC)

I'd say that the closest analogue we have is that, even though it took place during the 2250s, Early Voyages showed later 2260s style rank insignia on the crew for a length of time. Since the novel insignia were never seen, all we can really do is say that there were alternate insignia on unspecified uniforms -- possibly these were variants. -- Captain MKB 13:19, September 16, 2010 (UTC)
I think the rank errors in Early Voyages should be ignored. The officers seen with the TOS-style stripes include Pike during the events of "The Cage", which is contradicted by the episode itself. Since the ranks were corrected (presumably in response to a reader's letter printed two issues after "Nor Iron Bars a Cage"), and the series's editors commented on the previous inaccuracies (in print in the same issue as the reader's letter, which means that the comment was included in a licensed publication), I think we would be entirely safe in simply ignoring those errors.
That said, there might still be wiggle room, but in the absence of any established insignia for commanders or reference to their insignia, the "Best Destiny" insignia should probably be taken as the normal badge of a commander. --Columbia clipper 03:50, September 19, 2010 (UTC)
While that case has some weight, there are an additional couple of instances that don't follow. In "The Janus Gate", Kirk is stranded in the 2240s and his captain insignia is immediately recognized as being a captain's insignia. Also, there are other comics (such as DC's Starfleet Academy annual) that show officers wearing the more detailed 2260s rank insignia -- and those comics/novels don't acknowledge it as a mistake, in fact "The Janus Gate" makes it an important plot point that Kirk is able to give orders as a captain upon his insignia being recognized.. -- Captain MKB 16:23, September 19, 2010 (UTC)
Kirk's insignia in "The Janus Gate" might be recognized because of its similarity to the 2230s captain's rank insignia. Or the insignia seen in 2250 in "Starfleet Academy" might already be in use. (Does another source suggest that they're seen outside the Academy? If not, they might be confined to the training envrionment.)
Either way, I happened across "All Those Years Ago..." while looking for "Starfleet Academy"; the former story shows Kelway, Kirk's first officer aboard the Saladin, wearing two stripes. He's implicitly not a captain, which suggests that he's a full commander. This fit's with George Kirk pointing to his insignia to indicate that he's not a lieutenant. --Columbia clipper 19:24, September 19, 2010 (UTC)
"Starfleet Academy" poses a different problem (which is seconded by "The Kobayashi Maru"). It shows cadets wearing colored uniforms in the dormitories and to morning exams. (The colors are gold, red, and blue. The uniforms also have a white collar section set off by a black 'V' on both front and back - to the sternum in front, to the middle of the shoulder blades in back. The pants are black or dark blue-gray.) "The Kobayashi Maru" describes Chekov's and his roommate's cadet uniforms as red, which would fit with the uniforms we see in "Starfleet Academy". --Columbia clipper 20:27, September 19, 2010 (UTC)
ON the 2240s/50s occurrences of the 2260s insignia, possibly its considered the uniform of the day in some locations to not wear the more detailed insignia? This would explained it being recognized even though it would be infrequently worn. Same for the alternate division colors. Some uniform styles would use beige, their alternates would use red.
I didn't really see the cadet sweaters as a problem -- again, there could be two different types of uniforms shown. -- Captain MKB 20:44, September 19, 2010 (UTC)

I've added the CDR insignia from All Those Years Ago to the proposed table. I've also removed the gray uniform division. --Archimedean 05:09, September 20, 2010 (UTC)

How well does the uniform of the day explanation fit with the red uniforms we saw in Crew? They were worn side-by-side with beige/coral uniforms on the Enterprise in 2243 and 2251 (although, weirdly, the ship's science officer wears beige, one of several color anomalies in the series). "All Those Years Ago..." also seems to show both colors side-by-side (presuming Kelso and Mitchell are meant to be wearing beige, not gold), both 2264 and in a secondary flashback (a flashback within a flashback) to a year between 2248 and 2251.
In the absence of evidence of their wear elsewhere, I'd prefer to consider the anachronistic rank insignia (probably errors, in real life) an alternate system worn by instructors at the Academy. We do know that that much is correct, but (that I know of), there's no evidence of them being used outside the Academy except the recognition of Kirk's rank, which might be explained as either deduction from the 2230s stripe system or recognition of the rank from the Academy system.
"All Those Years Ago..." also shows Kirk in an oddly green uniform. Supposedly (according to at least one fan site), a green coverall uniform was seen on screen sometime during this period, which would make two appearances of green. We see another alternate uniform in "All Those Years Ago...", too: Doctor Boyce wears a white short-sleeve coat in sickbay, over a white shirt with a gold stripe on its sleeve (this might actually be copper, like the rank stripes in "The Cage", or silver-gold, like the jacket stripes in that episode). Altogether, that suggests three alternate colors: green, red, and white, which each are seen worn by persons who would normally wear gold, beige, and blue, respectively.
Displaying each of these alternate colors seems excessive - under the current format, or under the one Archimedean suggests, they would require seven columns. But I don't think it's right to dismiss them, either. Perhaps there should be two tables, one for what appear to be the primary uniforms, and one for what appear to be alternates?
On the subject of extra tables (or table sections, at least), I think that we have enough cadet/trainee uniforms (five now, not counting division differences), that cadets and trainees should be separated into their own section of the table. Also, the enlisted ranks should probably be expanded on the basis of what we know was in use at the time these uniforms were. The Vanguard novels and "Academy: Collision Course" include mentions of: Master Chief Petty Officer, Senior Chief Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer, Petty Officer First Class, and Petty Officer Second Class. Can we presume that all chief grades wear the chief's stripe (and a silver/gold stripe on their jacket), and all other enlisted grades wear no stripe (and a blue stripe on their jacket)? Even if we can't, I think those ranks should be included. --Columbia clipper 05:56, September 20, 2010 (UTC)
I could see there being a different uniform of the day worn by different divisions aboard the same ship depending on individual assignment.
As to the Academy intructor theory -- well, that doesn't make any sense. 90% of the situations where we've seen/heard of more detailed insignis, they haven't been at the Academy, so not sure where you're getting that from.
Also, since the more detailed insignia all come from the later uniform style -- there's no need to adapt them into this table. The majority of the commanders and captains of this era did not wear detailed insignia, so these seem to be occurrences of the other system, not something that should be considered part and parcel as part of this system. -- Captain MKB 06:18, September 20, 2010 (UTC)
I see. I don't have any problem with your interpretation, then. I do think that we should retain a separate section for the alternate uniform colors (gold -> green, beige -> red, blue -> white), and one for cadets. I also think that all known enlisted ranks should be included. Perhaps Archimedean could produce an updated proposal table with the additional colors?
We haven't seen rank insignia adopted from the academy, but we do know that uniforms styles were partially adopted twice. Finnegan's uniform in "Shore Leave" had a black 2260s-style collar, despite being from c.2250, and the cadet uniforms from "The First Duty" and other TNG episodes seem to have provided some inspiration for the DS9/VOY one-piece uniforms. --Columbia clipper 03:55, September 21, 2010 (UTC)

Ask and you will receive. I've updated the proposed rank table to include your suggestions. In the interest of brevity, I didn't include a complete set of alternate color uniform sleeves. Instead, a section at the top illustrates the color variations. Environmental suit sleeves have also been added. I still need to fix the citations for the enlisted ranks. --Archimedean 06:17, September 21, 2010 (UTC)

I have also uploaded a potential admiral's sleeve stripe, based on a interpretation of the admiral's sleeve insignia in Crew:
2240s gold admiral
I've been trying to reason a way to consider the admiral's single stripe something other than a mistake or oddity. The stripe widths in Crew vary considerably; I used this to interpret the admiral's single sleeve stripe to as a broad stripe, like those shown on 2260s flag officers. I may have interpreted too liberally. (The stripe might also be interpreted as unusually thin.) I hope no one minds if I share the conjecture, all the same. --Archimedean 06:43, September 21, 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that the environmental suit sleeves are necessary. (Further, your work - especially the large version - is an impressively accurate depiction of the uniforms we saw in "The Naked Time", but I don't know that they're appropriate to this period; the suits worn in "Flesh of My Flesh" have a rhombus-like pattern, not one of interlocking circles.) Should the insignia for Senior Chief Petty Officer and Master Chief Petty Officer be assumed the same as the Chief Petty Officer insignia? I think it might be better if the former two are labeled as unestablished.
Similarly, I don't think it's safe to assume that the coat insignia for enlisted trainees is the same as that worn by ensigns and cadets. Do we have any reason to think they don't wear stripes, rather than wearing the wide enlisted stripes (or vice versa)?
I would recommend one additional change, that the alternate color row be placed at the bottom of the table. Otherwise, I think the table is excellent. --Columbia clipper 03:56, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Good catch. The environmental suit pattern should be diamond-based. Most of the changes you asked for are now part of the table. I didn't change the higher CPO ranks; they may be different, but I don't see where else the system would logically go. Does anyone else have thoughts on the table? --Archimedean 04:14, October 4, 2010 (UTC)
The table looks fine. I would vote to replace the existing table and image set with your current proposal. Also, as I said before, I'm willing to update the various pages that use the insignia, unless someone else is inclined to. --Columbia clipper 05:45, October 13, 2010 (UTC)
As stated earlier, I plan on updating the existing insignia based on the findings of this discussion, thus there is no need to change the graphics in pages or to use the different versions. -- Captain MKB 06:04, October 13, 2010 (UTC)
As I said before, no offense to you at all, Captainmike, but I would prefer to go with Archimedean's rank set, even if the colors and details of yours were changed to match them. I think Archimedean has a point about public domain images versus restricted images. Having public domain insignia images would be better, all else being equal (and all else would be equal if you altered your images to look like Archimedean's.) --Columbia clipper 06:34, October 13, 2010 (UTC)
I'm talking about making the original suggested changes. Archimedean wishes to introduce fictional insignia (like the false admiral's stripe above) that are not derived from any valid source but his own imagination, and since his rank set would supersede others, only he, a newcomer to the site, would have control over the quality. On the other hand, I am a well established, long term member, willing to make changes based on discussion (rather than resisting discussion). -- Captain MKB 13:46, October 13, 2010 (UTC)
The Admiral's stripe isn't included in Archimedean's current proposed table (I don't think it was ever included). I'm fairly certain the proposed table takes only three liberties: First, it infers that Kirk's first officer in "All Those Years Ago...", who wore two stripes, was a commander. Second, it assumes that all grades of Chief Petty Officer wore the same insignia. Third, it assigns the blank enlisted sleeve to all enlisted grades below chief, even though no enlisted grades have been specifically connected with that sleeve (we do know that Yeoman Smith, who wore it, was enlisted). I think those liberties range from acceptable to logical. (The current proposed table is here (two sections above this one).)
Archimedean has expressly released those images to the public domain, precisely to avoid the type of problem you propose (which Archimedean apparently encountered with the existing set of images). That release to the public domain is the principle reason why I support use of Archimedean's images over yours. These images will be modifiable by any member of the community, not merely a single user.
I think that Archimedean has proved very open to discussion of these insignia. So far as I can tell, every correction or modification which has been suggested has either been implemented or given a response explaining why it wasn't. Overall, this effort seems to me to be a good example of cooperation. --Columbia clipper 16:43, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that public domaining an entire rank set is a good idea -- the first time someone gets a wierd idea, and changes it, we'll have an even longer discussion as to why it should or shouldn't be changed, with multiple versions being discussed. If someone is willing to take responsibility for getting the images and then being open to making the edits as discussed, its a lot easier than if everyone starts doing their own versions.
I also don't subscribe to the interpretation of the commander's rank as shown in this table -- it's obvious that multiple non-canon sources just didn't understand the insignia as used, as Early Voyages even chose not to use it for several issues. I don't think we should throw out the canonical in favor of the non-canon mistakes. -- Captain MKB 21:36, October 14, 2010 (UTC)

How/why would making the images more accessible to the community generate any more debate than the current set up? It seems to me to be in very much in the spirit of the whole concept of a wiki to keep everything open and adaptable. We except other images (and any other type of article for that matter) can be superseded by better or more accurate ones supplied by any user, why should these be exempt from that flexibility? --8of5 00:03, October 15, 2010 (UTC)

Captain Mike, I don't think your criticism of the commander insignia is accurate. We haven't seen a canonical insignia for commanders during this period (Number One, Spock, and Mitchell were all canonically lieutenant commanders, Boyce ); that commanders wear only one stripe is a fan assumption. I don't recall any incorrect insignia in "All Those Years Ago...", either canonically or among licensed sources available at the time of its publication. Problems existed in other publications (and continue to exist as of "Captain's Log: Pike") but I know of none in that issue. --Columbia clipper 19:10, October 16, 2010 (UTC)


A week has passed with no additions to this discussion. It seems to me that we're probably ready to bring it to a close. Can we come to a consensus or near-consensus regarding adoption of the proposed insignia table? --Columbia clipper 00:59, October 24, 2010 (UTC)

Could we get a brief summary of points still in contention? --8of5 01:02, October 24, 2010 (UTC)
As I understand it, the remaining concerns are as follows:
1. Use of a public domain image set could lead to frequent insignia changes, each with their own laborious discussion. A single person having responsibility for and control over the image set would help prevent that from happening.
2. The commander's insignia is contradicted by canonical insignia, and is taken from a source that was made by persons who didn't understand the insignia system.
With respect to the first concern, this discussion has lasted for roughly a month and a half, despite our existing image set being supervised and controlled by a single contributor. That only one person had permission to alter them, even for illustrative purposes in suggesting changes, caused some friction early in this discussion, and seems to have resulted in unnecessary difficulty.
Regarding the second concern, we have not seen a canonical insignia for commanders during this period (Number One, Spock, and Mitchell were all canonically lieutenant commanders); that commanders wear only one stripe is a fan assumption. I also don't recall any incorrect insignia in "All Those Years Ago..."; I remember it as correct, both canonically and when compared with and other then-available licensed sources. Problems existed in other publications (and continue to exist as of "Captain's Log: Pike") but I know of none in that issue. --Columbia clipper 01:13, October 24, 2010 (UTC)
  • The commander's rank -- since the captain's rank was the only one with double stripes, as generally shown by canon -- and it was stated that the double-stripe captain was differentiated from all other officer ranks in an Early Voyages letter column. The DC Comics one-panel occurrence of this generally fits with a general use of 2260s rank insignia substituted for these insignia as seen in DC TOS v2 Annual 2, select EV issues, etc.
  • The gray division standing for a specific division rather than being a 'general' uniform that does not show a division. In TNG, there was a type of ribbed-collar 'black-and-gray' uniform that did not stand for a specific division (it was worn under a division specific variation at times) .. there was also a TOS 'black' uniform that did not stand out as its own division, but was worn by all divisions including command and operations.
  • As to the source and provenance of the insignia, it isn't really for ease or restriction of use, but I think that the simpler pre-existing graphics are aesthetically desirable since the iterations of these seen in canon vary widely in texture and such, and having a less rendered set that fits both with our primary source (the Kuro graphics) and other sets by artists that were attempting to liken the work to Kuro generally fits better. I see the additional changes in the look to incorporate specific textures and high detail are what could cause the most problems.
As I wanted to take a crack at the project's improvement, I did ask that the other contributor give me some communication of intentions so we could work together, and friction on my end was caused by his ignorance of that request. He has since apologized as he missed my message and struck out on his own. I was a bit put off by my request being ignored, but I really don't think I've done anything egregiously untowards, unless someone has a specific accusation against me.
To the contrary of that, Arch's apology has really helped me to see that we can work together on this. I suggested incorporating his corrections above on the non-controversial issues (correcting the jacket sleeve, etc.) and I meant it, since I've been unable to participate in major research until recently, I can take point on starting that process. The rest -- we'll probably still have some things to discuss here. -- Captain MKB 01:21, October 24, 2010 (UTC)
  1. On the usage thing, I am concerned by the idea of only one editor being able to alter the images. But have a question which might address this. Say in a year or two Mike has stopped being actively involved here, and a new comic comes along and gives use a bunch of new information on the insignia details prompting an update to the image set. If the existing images cannot be edited under the current license can they at least be uploaded over with entirely new images? If that is the case then there is still a certain amount of flexibility and that can work.
  2. So we've never seen a commander onscreen? And the only commanders we've seen in comics have issues with inaccuracies in how the comics use the insignia? So basically we have no evidence at all for what the commander insignia is?
  3. In light of all this discussion I think this article need extensive background notes explaining all the issues relating to these insignia, for instance explaining how Early Voyages changed systems half way through. Noting that Crew and Captain's Log seems to simplify every rank down to a single band (I think?). Any issues with the older comics, etc. Really nail every detail of the use of these insignia down so readers can understand where every piece of information comes from and exactly how that effects how we read these. --8of5 02:12, October 24, 2010 (UTC)
1. The images can be overwritten, but a new editor would need to start from scratch. If our images are in the public domain, then future editors will be free to update them without needing to start over.
This would be especially beneficial if only a small number images needed to be changed in that future update. If we use restricted images, future editors may find that they need to recreate the entire rank set to make small changes (so that all of the images would match in style). If we use public domain images, only the problem images would need to be altered.)
The use of public domain images would also allow the modification of the insignia for illustrative purposes, like those for which Archimedean originally created the proposed set. Persons attempting to show the changes they were suggesting would be able to do so in a manner that wouldn't create the issues we now face.
Regardless, I apparently erred in trying to summarize Captain Mike's concerns. He's indicated that his primary concern regarding image source is a preference for the existing insignia graphics over the type of design Archimedean has offered. (I hope I have that right this time.)
I disagree - I much prefer the more accurate scheme, which I think is excellent - but I think that's a valid point of view. For my part, though, I think that Archimedean has done an admirable job of amalgamating various conflicting sources (where conflict exists) into something that is reminiscent of each. (The tunic stripes, for example, are less golden and more bronze-colored than those we saw in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and "Charlie X", but are more golden and less bronze-colored than those we saw in "The Cage" and "The Menagerie".) I appreciate that the images attempt to replicate the accurate uniform colors, and that they show some sign of the accurate textures (I don't think I've seen the stripes on the metallic cadet uniform included - or even noticed - anywhere else).
2. No, we've never seen a commander onscreen. What we've seen in licensed material is complicated.
First, we have persons like Arthur Chenowyth, who is addressed as 'Commander' and wears only one stripe. Whether he is a full commander or lieutenant commander is unestablished (Boyce's situation is similar, IIRC).
Second, a flashback to 2249 in Best Destiny implies different insignia for lieutenant and commander (the commander in question is George Kirk):
"In custody, Lieutenant!" the captain said quickly. He pointed at a little coffee station near the middle of the ship. "We put them in the midships deckhouse as soon as we saw that their identifications were fake. We didn't know when we hired them--" "Save it, Captain," was the growling response. "And I'm a commander."
He tapped his rank insignia with a forefinger.
Third, in "All Those Years Ago..." we see Kelway, Kirk's first officer aboard the Saladin, wearing two stripes. He's implicitly not a captain, which suggests that he's a full commander. This fit's with George Kirk pointing to his insignia to indicate that he's not a lieutenant. As I said above, I don't recall any incorrect insignia in "All Those Years Ago...". I was searching for errors and information when I read through the issue, and I recall it as accurate, both canonically and when compared with and other then-available licensed sources. Problems existed in other publications (and continue to exist as of "Captain's Log: Pike") but I know of none in that issue.
So far as I know, no source has established a different insignia for commanders. (The editorial note in Early Voyages read 'Starting next issue, all ranking crew members except the captain will have one band of gold trim on their uniform sleeves. Pike will have two. As you've pointed out, he had only one stripe in "The Cage," but we at Marvel/Paramount believe that it's never too late to get what you deserve!' No other officer on the Enterprise ranked higher than lieutenant commander, so the reference has no bearing on commander insignia.)
3. I agree. This discussion has clearly indicated the need for extensive explanation of the various sources. --Columbia clipper 06:30, October 24, 2010 (UTC)
We've already has the various commander references mentioned above, I'd ask that we not restate previous parts of the discussion like this, Clipper -- the talk page is getting too long. We should probably break off separate discussions for commander insignia usage, image sourcing, etc. rather than stringing a rehash of the entire previous discussion down this page.
You are also dead-wrong about the EV having a bearing on the commander's rank -- it is a valid non-canon source making a concrete statement that captains wear two stripes, those below wear one. The fact that the Enterprise crew did not have commanders doesn't make the intention less true.
The fact remains that there seem to be two styles -- the canonical "simple insignia" and then the fact that the uniforms are read easily by those in-universe, even though we as observers can't see that. We don't really know what issue uniform George was wearing, so re-hashing this example doesn't say much about the canon insignia we're trying to source. there couldbe a service uniform that has stripes with hatch marks for different ranks -- but without seeing it, we can only speculate what George was wearing. - Captain MKB 13:51, October 24, 2010 (UTC)
I restated the previous information because of 8of5's confusion about what has been established regarding that rank, but perhaps I should have referred him to the section discussing the rank above.
Early Voyages is a valid source, but the reference in that comic is not a concrete statement that captains wear two stripes and those below wear one. It does not state that

only captains wear one stripe, but that Captain Pike is the only officer aboard who will wear two stripes: 'all ranking crew members except the captain will have one band of gold trim on their uniform sleeves'. The absence of commanders aboard the ship makes the statement true regardless of whether only captains or captains and commanders wear two stripes.

If we are to consider intent in this case (which consideration I think would be inconclusive), we should also consider the clear intent in George Kirk's case. The novel offers no indication that the 2260s system (or some third system) is used instead of the 2240s system; that's assumption or explanation to make what it establishes fit with one conception of the ranks of this period. Its clear intent is that the insignia for commanders and lieutenants is different.
Taken with the appearance of a two-stripe non-captain in "All Those Years Ago..." - an issue that is not beset by the common ranking system errors you reference - we do have reason to conclude that commanders wear two stripes, especially when we consider intent, as you suggest. --Columbia clipper 16:22, October 24, 2010 (UTC)
I'm just not seeing it your way. The EV editorial staff made the definitive statement about the ranks, in a valid source. All in all, every single source mentioned here as depicting these ranks contradicts at least one other valid source and contains errors, so trying to make definitive judgements based on an absence of data is futile. The EV lettercolumn defines the system simply but effectively, while all the other sources "imply" things and contain errors. What you're really doing is trying to pick through the EV lettercolumn terminology to find an explanation for the error in "All Those Years Ago" where a non-captain wore two-stripes. This is like saying that "To Walk the Night" took place in a different time period than the author intended just to explain an inaccuracy compared to another source. -- Captain MKB 16:27, October 24, 2010 (UTC)
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