The chest pin badge is a slightly convex figured shield.
At the top and bottom of the shield there are symmetrically arranged rivets.
In the middle of the shield there is a vertically located sword in the center of which is a faceted five-pointed star with the hammer and sickle is superimposed.
Under the star and at the sides of the shield there is a curly ribbon covered with ruby-red enamel, and the words: “Special Departments of KGB USSR.”
The pin badge is made of a goldish metal, the ribbon and the field of the shield are covered with cold enamels.
On the back of the pin badge there is a screw pin and a nut for fastening it to the clothes.
The special departments were established on December 19, 1918. The main function of the KGB special was to monitor the political and moral state of the military units, to identify state criminals: traitors, spies, saboteurs, terrorists. The most famous was the counterintelligence division SMERSH – short for “Death for the spies.”
The pin badge “Special Departments of the USSR KGB” is designed in accordance with the canons of heraldry. At the basis of the pin badge the is a slightly convex figured shield with a distinct edging, and six “nails” on it. The shield had later formed the basis for the majority of awards and emblems associated with the USSR and Russian security forces. In the centre of the shield there is there is a vertically located sword with its handle faced up.
In the early days of the Soviet government, in the days of the uncompromising class war, on the foreground of the VChK – GPU-NKVD and later the KGB, there was the image of the “punishing sword of the Revolution”, and the stylized shield is only a hint at its protective function: “it punishes enemies in order to protect the young Soviet State” (note: currently on the insignia of the KGB’s successor – the Federal Security Service of Russia, when there is no external enemy, and the internal one is weak – the sword is modestly put behind the shield).
In accordance with the laws of heraldry, the symbol lying at the basis of the sign is primary. At the KGB pin badges it is a shield, i.e. the defense of the gains of the Great October Socialist Revolution. The sword and its location are secondary. If to speak about the punishing, offensive or fighting sword, then its blade should be raised up. Here the sword’s blade is pointed downwards, thus it is the “sword of memory”, the memory of the comrades fallen defending the Revolution.
In the center of the emblem there is a faceted golden five-pointed star with the hammer and sickle superimposed over it. The shape and color of the star repeat the image of the highest award of the Soviet Union – the “Gold Star”, established on August 1, 1939, which up to now is the insignia of the Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russian Federation.
The red ribbon is the symbol of the revolutionary flag painted with blood of the fighters for freedom and equality of all people.
The blue (cornflower blue) color of the shield is the traditional color of the full-dress uniform of the state security and counterintelligence officers.