What a thoughtful post. And how nice to think of a way to commemorate the OWs.
I see a couple of problems. First, although all of the flights had the luxury of patriotic, celestial, or evocative names (Freedom, Liberty Bell, Friendship, Aurora, Sigma, and Faith), were there any patches produced contemporaneously that actually showed the original stenciling/art used for any of the Mercury flights?
I think only three or four of the spacecraft (and no patches that I know of) had Cece Bibby's original mission insignia (MA-6, MA-7, and MA-8; Cece had ideas for MA-9). AFAIK, only Wally later arranged to have a decent mission patch made based on the original art Cece painted on the side of his capsule.
As for the wives, my sense is that given their commitment to and sacrifices on behalf of Project Mercury (and their varying involvement in selecting the spacecraft names), they'd be interested first and foremost in seeing and/or approving patches that reflect not their modest roles but rather the original mission insignia from 1961 through 1963.
For the Redstone flights, with their stark, stenciled FREEDOM 7 and LIBERTY BELL 7, what's wrong with a good strong stenciled look on a NASA patch? A good illustrator could figure this out.
I love well-designed patches. And I love Project Mercury history. The Original Wives are great too. My sense is that they'd say, get the patches right. Get the history right, and base it on the original art. History, they'd probably say, will take care of our own, more modest legacies.
I can hear Rene joking now: Oh, yeah, a patch commemorating me: My cast iron frying pan. No--a tube of bacitracin and a box of Band-Aids!
P.S.: Speaking of the OWs, I was struck in an afternoon of research at NASA HQ history office, that none of the biographical files on the wives had even the barest biographical information. No place of birth. No date of birth. Some of the astronaut biographies (and websites) may supply this important biographical information. But it's not in the most natural repository at NASA HQ.
So here's a start: Rene Carpenter (nee Rene Mason, daughter of Olive Olson and Melvin Mason, Clinton, Iowa) was born on April 12, 1928. She was adopted by her mother's second husband, Lyle Price, on the eve of World War II, and became Rene Price. The Prices moved to Boulder in 1941.