Sam Chaney's FBI badge

An FBI badge from the 1940s.

Badges are often used to identify agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as police officers, Detectives, Sheriffs and Deputies. (The X-Files, Millennium) Badge numbers have been known to be used for identification of FBI agents and, in 1945, for members of a particular group of military scientists. (The X-Files; MM: "Matryoshka")

FBI BadgesEdit

Hand-Held BadgesEdit

Design HistoryEdit

FBI agents have been equipped with badges since at least 1942. In that year, Special Agent Samuel Chaney was murdered and his body was buried by his murderer; Chaney's badge was later found by B.J. Morrow when she uncovered his skeleton more than fifty years later. This early form of FBI badge was worn on the agent's lapel and had neither visual nor personal identification of the wearer. The badge was gold-colored metallic, in the shape of a shield with an eagle sculpted above. The badge contained text, the largest letters being "US" emblazoned on either side of an image at the center of the badge. The words "Justice Department" and "Federal Bureau of Investigation" were inscribed in smaller letters across the top and bottom, respectively. (TXF: "Aubrey")

Michael Lanyard with FBI badge

FBI Agent Michael Lanyard holding up his badge in 1945.

The same or a similar style of badge was used by the FBI at least until 1945 but, by then, the badges were carried, at least occasionally. In 1945, Agent Michael Lanyard showed his FBI-issue badge to a Military Policeman at a guarded checkpoint on the way into Los Alamos, after Lanyard had been sent there to investigate the death of Doctor Daniel Carew. (MM: "Matryoshka")

Hayes Michel with FBI badge

Special Agent Hayes Michel showing his badge in 1952.

The style of badge used by the FBI underwent a drastic change by 1952. In that year, Special Agents Arthur Dales and Hayes Michel were tasked with investigating suspected communist spies and, after being informed that Edward Skur was one of these men, the agents went to Skur's home where they identified themselves to Skur's wife by showing their badges to her. The form of badge they carried had no noticeable metallic components. Instead, the badges each consisted of two sections displayed horizontally; these top and bottom sections would be folded together during storage. The top included the agent's name and rank written in type across a blue, stylized version of the letters "FBI" while the bottom section featured an image of the agent as well as his signature. (TXF: "Travelers")

Fox Mulder with FBI badge (1989)

Agent Fox Mulder with his badge in 1989.

By 1989, slight modifications had been made to the badges used by FBI agents. While searching for Susanne Modeski in that year, Agent Fox Mulder showed his badge to Melvin Frohike and John Fitzgerald Byers when he found them in the basement of the Baltimore Convention Center before asking them if they had seen Modeski; even though the men had indeed been with her, they lied to Mulder. He later showed his badge to two armed men who prevented his attempt to arrest a group consisting of Modeski and the two men he had met previously, as well as Richard Langly. The style of badge Mulder carried incorporated both design elements from the FBI badges circa 1952 as well as the earlier gold-colored, metallic badge in the shape of an eagle and shield. Like the badges of 1952, this style of badge had a lower section, featuring the agent's signature, and a top half that was folded together with the bottom section when the badge was stored. The top section differed from those in the older badges, however, by including an image of the agent (instead of on the lower section) as well as the FBI's circular logo. Like the badges from 1952, the letters "FBI" were displayed in blue on the top section, between the organization's circular logo on the right and the agent's image on the left, but these letters were in a different font to those featured on the earlier badges. The bottom half was itself divided into two halves, with the agent's signature on the left and the metallic badge on the right. (TXF: "Unusual Suspects") This style of badge remained within common usage by the FBI until at least 2002. (TXF: "Release")

Mulder himself used his badge many times while investigating the X-Files and first showed his badge to Arthur Dales in 1990 upon meeting the now-retired agent, shortly after Mulder began investigating an X-file Dales had opened on Edward Skur in 1952. (The X-Files, TXF: "Travelers")

Clip-On BadgesEdit

Police BadgesEdit

Police officers have used badges since at least 1947. This style of badge was displayed on the officer's uniform but could be detached from the clothing. Like the earliest FBI badges, this style of badge was gold-colored metallic and shaped like a shield. In 1947, an officer of the Macon Police Department detached his badge from his uniform in order to polish the badge shortly after having answered a phone call requesting information on an individual known as Josh Exley. The caller was the brother of Arthur Dales who had the same name and was a police officer who carried a badge much like the one owned by the officer in Macon. When Josh Exley was later suspected of murder, Dales was told by an Officer Coranado that he could wear his "big hat and that pretty badge" as long as Dales wanted, if he aided in the search for Exley. (TXF: "The Unnatural")

Badge NumbersEdit

In 1945, badge numbers were assigned to scientists investigated by Michael Lanyard at Los Alomos, including Dr. Alexander - whose badge number was 633. (MM: "Matryoshka")

Background InformationEdit

In the script of The X-Files' pilot episode, Scully shows her badge to a receptionist when reporting to the FBI's headquarters, but Scully's badge does not appear at all in the final version of the episode. On the other hand, that version of the same episode features Mulder showing his badge to a Deputy upon returning to a motel with Scully to find that it has been set alight. Mulder's reveal of his badge, however, is not included in the version of this scene from the episode's script.

FBI badge in The X-Files Unauthorized Access

A view of a 1940s FBI badge from The X-Files: Unrestricted Access.

A close-up of the 1940s FBI badge from "Aubrey", described in that episode's script merely as "an old, rusted FBI badge", can be seen in the CD-ROM The X-Files: Unrestricted Access.

Monica Reyes title

An example of an FBI badge being used to represent a character - in this case, Monica Reyes - in the Opening Title Sequence of The X-Files.

FBI badges were shown during the opening credits sequences of The X-Files, used to represent each character.

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