The debate is not so much about honoring Browning as about having an official gun.
The relevant patent is US 984,519 , which issued about one year after the application was filed. There are 38 claims, all explicitly combination claims. The gun was manufactured by Colt.
Following its success in trials, the Colt pistol was formally adopted by the Army on March 29, 1911, thus gaining its designation, M1911 (Model 1911). It was adopted by the Navy and Marine Corps in 1913. Originally manufactured only by Colt, demand for the firearm in World War I saw the expansion of manufacture to the government-owned Springfield Armory.