Obverse Design Badge is in the shape of the coat of arms of Panama. The main feature is a shield. Perched on top of the badge is an eagle with spread wings. Over the eagle's head is an arc with nine stars for Panama's nine provinces. The eagle's head is up and looking to its left (our right). In its beak the eagle holds a banner which is draped over the top edge of the sheild. The banner says "PRO MUNDI BENEFICO" which is a latin motto and means "FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WORLD". The shield is divided into two cantons at the top, two cantons at the bottom and a double wide canton in the center. The upper left canton is a crossed rifle and sword. It originally meant "Good bye forever to civil wars, cause of our ruin". In 1914 the meaning was changed to "Attitude of alertness in defense of our sovereignty." The upper right is a crossed hoe and shovel refering to the labor required to build the republic. The lower left is a cornucopia horn of plenty symbolizing richness and agriculture. The lower right has a wheel with wings symbolizing the speed of progress. The center canton shows land (the isthmus of Panama) between two oceans (the Atlantic and Pacific) with a sea level canal between the oceans. The sun is setting on the mountains in the west and the moon is rising over the waves in the east. This represents the solemn hour of Panama's declaration of independence from Columbia in 1903. On each side of the shield are two draped Panama flags (for a total of four). The flag of Panama is divided into four equal sections. The upper left has a large blue star on a white background. The upper right is red. The lower left is blue and the lower right has a large red star on a white background. The badge uses a striped texture on the flags to designate the red portions. The flags are tied under the shield, with four flag ends showing.
Reverse Design There is a screw connector in the middle back of the badge as well as a push pin connector at the eagle's head.
Metal Most likely nickel-plated brass. Silver in color. Size and Shape 50 mm wide by 56 mm high (about 1 15/16 inches by 2 1/8 inches).
Dates Issued Exact dates unknown. The "Guardia Nacional" existed from 1953 to 1984, but these badges continued to be used by the "Fuerza Defensa" (Panama Defense Force or PDF) which existed until December, 1989. At that time, these badges may have been retired, but not necessarily.
Issurer National Guard (GN) and Defense Forces (PDF) of Panama.
Numbers Issued Unnumbered.
Rarity Common. Manufacturer Most likely N.S. Meyer of New York City. Source Sale on ebay.
Varieties Silver colored (BG-125.2) and gold colored (BG-125.3). These two types are not identical although they initially appear to be. The silver badge's cornucopia is overflowing with more fruit, the wheel of progress is kicking up smoke, there are vertical slashes as texture in the background of the hoe and shovel and the sun is small and distinct in the center canton. The gold badge has less fruit in the cornucopia, a smaller wheel of progress without smoke, a smooth background for the hoe and shovel, and the sun in the center canton is very large. The silver badge is also about 1/8 inch taller.

Hat badge. From photos it appears that the silver hat badges were worn by the members of the Guardia Nacional and PDF assigned to police duties (who also wore the GN Policia badges). All other members of the Guardia Nacional and PDF apparently wore the gold colored hat badges (and no vest badge). I would appreciate e-mail from anyone who can add anything to the history of these badges.

Population Count Known specimens are as follows:
  1. 'el_nazareno' Specimen. Sold on ebay by 'general1969' (July 29, 2002, $13.50).

Panama PDF member wearing a BG-125.1 vest badge and a BG-125.2 hat badge (1988 photo)
Guardia Nacional member wearing a BG-125.1