The OKU patch was a joint effort of Allen Wheeler, Joe Arvidson, Joe Smith, Sherman Harrill, and Don Roberts. And I'm sure each of us got ideas from our students and other instructors in the newly formed karate association. Pooling our ideas we came up with the beautiful OKU patch that you have today, with one exception. The patches made in the first year had a #1 under the Okinawan symbol. After the first year the #1 was removed. That #1 showed that the person wearing that patch joined the OKU during its first year of operation. The patch was copyrighted in the state of Tennessee, and is subject to copyright laws.
The circle represents perfection in Oriental Mythology having no beginning and no ending. (Patch companies will also make a circular patch cheaper than other shapes.) A circle within a circle shows that we are striving doubly hard for perfection.
The five colors represent the five elements of the universe: Red - Fire, White - Metal, Green - Wood, Yellow - Earth, and Blue - Water. Therein you have the destruction cycle and the creation cycle. These are two of the methods used in healing methods (Acupuncture, acupressure, Shiatsu, etc.), as well as fighting methods within the martial arts.
The Shrine or temple gate represents the gateway or entrance way to learning. The Triad (Okinawan Martial Arts Symbol) was the Okinawan King's seal, which he used to seal all his official written correspondence to other heads of state. When the letter was delivered if the seal was broken they knew the letter had been opened. So bring out the swordsman. The Triad between the gate uprights represents all Okinawan Arts entering the place of learning. The crossed sais represent all Okinawan weapons in the field of learning. The black color on the white field is for contrast and could also represent yin and yang as being the opposites. The Japanese writing at the top of the circle is the same as the English writing at the bottom of the patch. And there you have the real meaning behind that beautiful OKU patch that you are wearing on the right shoulder of your gi.