SQUARE KNOTS AND MILITARY STUF
BRUCE C JOHNSON (JOHNSON@MAIL.LOC.GOV)
Tue, 24 May 1994 16:31:16 GMT
Well, let's see if we can clear up a few pieces of information
... BSA began using training award medals in the late '30s (1938
sticks in my mind), this at a time when "ribbon bars" (which look
much like military ribbons) were used on uniforms for everyday
wear. Ribbon bars were replaced in January of 1946 by square
knots. At that time there were knots for Eagle, Quartermaster,
Honor Medal, Silver Buffalo, Silver Antelope, Silver Beaver,
Scouter's Key, Scouter's Training Award. Before the '40s were
out, there were square knots added for the Ranger Award,
Skipper's Key, Silver Award, and Ace Award. A new Silver Award
knot was issued in 1954 when the Silver Award itself was
Over the next 15 or so years, knots were added for Medal of
Merit and the youth Religious Award. (Adult religious awards
were first introduced in the '70s with one or two exceptions.)
The '70s saw the addition of the following knots: Silver World,
OA Distinguished Service Award, Adult Religious Award, District
Award of Merit, Webelos Arrow of Light, Den Leader Training
Award, and Den Leader Coach Training Award. The '80s added:
George Meany Award, The Professional Training Award (I KNOW I
have the name of that one wrong), Whitney Young Award, the medal
between the Honor Medal and the Medal of Merit (sorry again that
I can't think of the name), Explorer Achievement Award
(re-defined from Silver Award), Spurgeon Award, Cubmaster's
Award, Cub Scout Leader's Award, Den Leader's Award, Den Leader
Coach's Award, Webelos Den Leader's Award, and Seabadge. The 90s
have brought: Hornaday Award, James A. West Fellowship Award,
and the Tiger Cub Coach Award (I think that name is slightly
off). As you can see, the growth over the years has been pretty
gradual with the '70s and '80s seeing the most growth.
To the best of my knowledge (and I'd welcome someone SHOWING
ME IN WRITING to the contrary), there was never any limitation on
the number of knots which could be worn. A prescribed order for
wearing them was in place until the mid-70s. Most, while
agreeing with it in principal, felt it was a big pain to deal
As I mentioned in another message, military ribbons were
wearable on BSA uniforms from 1946 until the last few years.
This practice, I'm told, was comparatively common immediately
after WWII, but by the time I joined Cub Scouts in 1961, was all
but extinct. The practice was eliminated more because
essentially no one was doing it ... not because of any supposed
leftist plot against BSA. (I'm sorry. I know I'm exagerating.
Let's just try to stick to facts and stay away from politics in
Did I clear up any questions about this admittedly esoteric
subject? If not, feel free to write me off list.
. Bruce Chr. Johnson Telephone: 202-707-1652 .
. Library of Congress 202-707-3959 (FAX) .
. Cataloging Distribution Service .
. Washington, DC 20541 USA email@example.com .
. The preceeding message does not necessarily represent .
. the official position of the Library of Congress .
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City