Re: Incorrect Uniforms
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU)
Thu, 21 Jul 1994 05:48:04 -0400
The rumor persists among many volunteers that you are only allowed to
wear two rows of three knots. But it just isn't based on fact. The most
recent Insignia Control Guide and the various leader books all say that
the limit is five medals (no mention of knots being limited) and that
knots can be worn in rows of three. No where does BSA state a limit. In
fact, when there was more room for explainations in the older "Official
Uniforms and Insignia" booklet (1974 and earlier editions), BSA specifically
stated that a Scouter could where as many knots as earned with the proviso
that the same knot could not be worn twice, instead the wearer was and is
to use the miniture pins to indicate the program areas where multiples of
the same knot have been earned.
Now if BSA wanted to state a limit, it could do so just as easily as it
has done with the number of medals that can be worn. However, BSA has not
elected to state a limit on the number of knots worn. And if practice is
any indicia, you only need to take a look at the number of knots worn by
those with gold tabs on the various national committees to see that the
accepted practice continues to be just as in 1974 and earlier -- to wear
all of the knots earned.
BSA has attempted to balance healthy recognition of achievement and
service in uniform insignia with a desire to avoid comic clutter. Can you
imagine a uniform sporting a dozen or so medals? That presents quite a
different picture from three or four rows of neatly sewn knots.
We also a have a few around our area that insist the limit is six knots,
but they just don't have a leg to stand on. It strikes me that these
critics usually only have one to six knots and weren't members as kids
(e.g. didn't earn the Arrow of Light, Eagle or a religious emblem as a
youth and thus don't have a row of knots from youth), which leads me to
believe they want to see others wear less so they don't feel bad about the
number of their own knots. I know of one fellow who was very vocal on
this point until he finally was presented with the District Award of Merit
(his seventh knot, which he promptly sewed on his uniform) -- seems that
he developed a new understanding of the rules shortly thereafter.
Yours in Scouting, Michael F. Bowman, a/k/a Professor Beaver
Deputy District Commissioner Exploring, GW Dist., NCAC, BSA
Speaking only for myself, but with Scouting Spirit . . .
____ mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU ____
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City