According to the Urban Dictionary, they describe a patch over like this:
When members of one motorcycle club, are incorporated into a larger motorcycle club. Thus, the unification results
in the former club no longer existing. Its members subsequently trade in their previously worn club colours, or "patch over", for the colours of
the larger club.
Although the above describes it correctly, this is a broad definition and does not get to the core of the matter. A patch over can happen in one of two ways:
- Forced Patch Over
This happens when a dominant club forcefully "absorbs" another. This is not something that often happens in our part of the world, but the
possibility can't be ruled out. The dominant club usually does this for reasons of its own, usually to get rid of territorial opposition, or
simply to boost their ranks.
- Negotiated Patch Over
This is a peaceful process and happens when the two clubs involved agree to merge as one, usually assuming the patch of the larger club. This
kind of patch over makes a lot of sense in our area, which is overrun by small clubs with little or no infrastructure. Usually, the members of
the smaller club meet and agree to the patch over before the negotiation process starts. Those members of the smaller club who disagree usually
end up patchless, because the smaller club will shut down completely. All the resources (if any) of the smaller club become resources of the
larger club. The smaller club patch is removed and replaced with the patch of the larger club. In actual fact, the smaller club ceases to
exist. The negotiation between the two clubs is their business and continues until both clubs are satisfied with the terms they settle on.
These terms may or may not include the keeping of existing ranks.
A negotiated patch over is a very serious business for both clubs. Remember that the members of the larger club have to accept the members
of the smaller club as Brothers, and are jealous of the patch they worked so hard for, so they will not easily allow "incommers" unless
they are 100% sure that they will be an asset to their club. Bearing this in mind, it may be that the official patch over process takes some
time to complete so that the members of both clubs get the opportunity to know and understand each other. All this is hypothetical though. Each
negotiated patch over will have its own situation and complications which will be handled by dialogue and agreement until a settlement is
A negotiated patch over is a private matter between the involved clubs and need not be advertised.
The smaller clubs in our part of the world should take note of the patch over process. Depending on the situation, it could prove to be a good solution in many
cases, and could be beneficial to all concerned.
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