Yellow Jackets Motorcycle Club
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the full patches of a national officer
|Founded at||Gardena, California|
|Type||Original Motorcycle Club|
The Yellow Jackets are a Historic Motorcycle Club, established in Southern California, prior to World War II, whose members primarily ride Harley Davidson Motorcycles. Common Nicknames for the club are "YJMC", "25", and "Black and Yellow". Today the Yellow Jackets have chapters across the United States and overseas in Italy and Korea, a chapter prospect in France and are headquartered in Illinois.
The Gardena, California Yellow Jackets Motorcycle Club, the Original Yellow Jackets, are an "Original Motorcycle Club". Established in 1938, the Yellow Jackets Motorcycle Club is one of the oldest clubs still in existence in the United States. Early Southern California clubs included the 13 Rebels, the Yellow Jackets and the Orange County Motorcycle Club, which all existed before the founding of the Boozefighters, whose actions during the Hollister riot were fictionalized in the film The Wild One starring Marlon Brando, and whose formation in 1946 marks the beginning of the "one percenter" outlaw motorcycle clubs.  They met at a small bar called the 'Crash Inn' in Southern California, and eventually made the owner an honorary member. Many different clubs were represented at the Crash Inn. Clubs that could be found there included The Sharks, The 13 Rebels, The Top Hatters, the Boozefighters, and the Hounds to name a few. They would belly up to the bar, laugh, drink, and have a good time. Of course that was a much different time. The Gardena chapter was represented at the July 4th, 1947 Hollister, California celebration. this became known as the Hollister riot, depicted in the film The Wild One and often referenced as the birthplace of the American outlaw biker The Yellow jackets MC is a national club, meaning that its membership is spread across the entire country, with multiple chapters in various states and Canada. They are also in Italy, France and Korea. Formed as a racing club, the Yellow Jackets along with the other "Originals" set the stage for the development of the modern American motorcycle club. From its roots in the California motorcycle culture, the club began to spread eastward, growing its ranks with new members, and absorbing members from other clubs. Today Yellow jacket membership stretches from Alaska to Florida, Canada, Italy, France and Korea
"They existed much earlier than the start of World War II; even as early as 1930, and were incorporated in 1938. the Original Yellow Jackets, also known as just the "Originals", competed in races sanctioned by the American Motorcycle Association (AMA). The last surviving member of the Originals, Bob MacMillen left us in 2016, and he lived in California, though the clubs national headquarters are in Illinois.
Several notorious Boozefighters raced while wearing Yellow Jackets colors such as Willy 'Wino' Forkner (out of Los Angeles). Wino started his own chapter of Yellow Jackets to race under. You see, they couldn't race in the American Motorcycle Association AMA sanctioned events.
"Membership is difficult by design, To hang around, drink and have a shared tattoo is not enough" -Boogeyman To become a prospect, candidates must have an American or allied motorcycle, capable of interstate highway speeds, valid license and insurance, and the sponsorship of a full patched member. After a potential member is invited to ride and party with the club, he is deemed a “hangaround”, indicating that the individual is invited to club events and can associate with members. If a hangaround is deemed appropriate and finds sponsorship he may be invited to join the club as prospect and don the blue cut and single rocker of a full patch member in training. The term full patch refers to the top and bottom rockers in combination with the Yellow Jackets center patch, the “Rumbling Yellow Jacket” and the MC cubes.
To make the transition to a full patch member, the prospect must be voted on unanimously by the chapter. It is the duty of every prospect to support his club to the fullest and make himself known to the chapter, Nationals and Mother chapter as a member of good character. Even after a member is given his patches, the patches themselves remain the property of YJMC and, if the member departs, the patches must be returned.
The Yellow Jackets are a fully integrated and diverse club, and do not discriminate or show preference based on race, creed, or color.
Cut and colors
Yellow Jackets are identifiable by the three piece patches on their vests or "cut". A top rocker with the name of the club, a center patch with the rumbling Yellow jacket, and a bottom rocker, containing either: 1938 (the established year), Mother (to denote that member belongs to the "mother chapter"), or National (for a high-ranking officer). The cut, which the patches are worn on has great significance for each member and is earned through a prospect-ship, or a type of probation. prospective members wear a blue denim vest with a top rocker naming them as a prospect. once a member finishes prospecting he is allowed to wear a black vest with the clubs full insignia. Additionally as the member progresses in the club he is given various patches that denote achievements within the organization. Each members rank or position is noted by their colors, or the series of patches on their cut. a round patch on the upper right hand side of the vest show the clubs original patch design and is designated "The history patch". The "rib rocker" or patch worn on the right hand side tell the chapter affiliation of each member.
- Harley-Davidson: The Good, the Bad, and the Legendary - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
- The One Percenter Code: How to Be an Outlaw in a World Gone Soft - Dave Nichols - Google Books. Books.google.com. 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
- "The real Wild Ones The 1947 Hollister motorcycle riot". Salinasramblersmc.org. 1947-07-04. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
- The One Percenter Encyclopedia: The World of Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs from ... - Bill Hayes - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
- "History". yellowjacketsmc.com. Retrieved 2014-03-21.