Re: More Square Knots
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Thu, 2 Feb 1995 13:42:24 CDT
David McCullough <Mccecolsys@AOL.COM> writes:
>Baden-Powell announced the Sea Scouting program in 1910 (in England), and a
>Sea Scouting program started in the U.S. by 1912. The Sea Scouting Service
>became the Senior Scouting Service in 1935. Air Scouting was established in
>1941, as interest increased due to WWII.
>In the Exploring Scouts (1942-1949), one branch of Senior Scouts, the top
>award (which is analagous to the Eagle) was Explorer Scout Ranger. There
>were two knots for this: one on green, and the other on khaki. (I don't
>know what the rope color was, but possibly it was red, white, and blue).
Nope. The knot color for the Ranger Award was green and red, and was
available *only* on khaki. There are "knockoffs" out there that have
the same knot on kelly green, but its NOT offical. Explorer Scouts was
the ONLY division of the older Exploring program which used the old
khaki Scout shirts (which was the reason it was called "Explorer
Scouts". I'm GLAD that the BSA *retired that program and the name!* )
>In Air Scouts / Air Explorers (1942-1949), another branch of Senior Scouts,
>the top award was Air Scout Ace / Air Explorer Ace. There were knots for
>these as well, but I don't know what they looked like. (Possibly the same as
>Ranger, but again, I'm not sure).
The Ace award was a blue and red knot on light blue or dark blue.
There are "knockoffs" (non-offical knots made by a patch collector),
which has this combination on khahi but it's NOT official.
>In Sea Scouts / Sea Explorers, the third branch of Senior Scouts, the top
>award was Sea Explorer Quartermaster. The knots for this are blue and white,
Nope. The Sea Explorer Quartermaster award is light blue on either a
dark blue, white or khahi background. (The knot you described is the
Silver Beaver award). This is the ONLY part of the older Exploring
programs that survived today.
>In 1949, the Exploring Scouts became Explorers, and the top award was the
>Explorer Silver Award. There were two different ribbon types with the
>Explorer Silver Award (one was red/yellow, and the other was red/white/blue).
In 1949, the three Exploring programs became one and the top award was
called the Silver Award. The *first* version of the award did NOT
meet with much success and was scrapped shortly after the merger of
all three programs. Commodore Keen of the BSA's Sea Exploring program
objected most feverously to this grand merger and the BSA, recognizing
this man's power and influnce in that program, quickly went back to
the drawing board and in 1950 announced that the Sea Exploring and Air
Exploring programs would CONTINUE to be separate programs nationally
and that the new Exploring program would attempt to incorporate all
three of the previous programs into the new Silver Award program.
As a result of this turnaround, there were two knots created. The
first, the red and yellow on a blue background, lasted ONLY five and a
half months, and therefore considered as one of the rarest BSA square
knot awards. The new Silver Award uses a silver knot on a red, silver
and blue (some say it is more like white, but it's supposed to be
This is the CURRENT knot to recognize holders of the Ranger, Ace or
Silver Awards in the past as well as the CURRENT knot for holders of
the Exploring Acheivement Award. Previous holders of those older
awards may wear the old knot, *or* the present one (not both, unless
they have earned the Silver Award (2)).
>The Explorer program was revised again in 1959 to add a much wider range of
>activities, and was a lot closer to what we know today as Explorers.
>It would make my year if we had any Rangers, Aces, or Quartermasters on
>Scouts-L who would be willing to come on and tell the group about what they
>did to earn their award. The number of Rangers and Aces would be exceedingly
>small and chances would be against it, but you never know...
The BSA says (in 1990) that there are the following numbers of
Rangers, Aces, Silver (1) and Silver (2) award holders:
Silver 1 * 543
Silver 2 * 7314
(compare to Exploring Achievement Award holders since 1977: 820)
>(Incidently, my interest in this comes not from collecting knots or Exploring
>items, but from my being in a Troop, a Ship, and two Explorer Posts while
(David and I talked privately about the backgrounds used for the
square knots of old; he was under the impression that somehow the
white background awards could only be worn by Sea Explorers and
leaders and the green background award could only be worn by Explorers
and their leaders. He cited the Eagle as an example. )
The background of the knot has NO BEARING WHATSOEVER with the award
itself. The BSA did this only to allow those holders of the more
popular awards (Silver Beaver, Quartermaster, Eagle, Scouters'
Training Award, Scouters' Key) to wear the same knot on different
uniforms and to make the knot look "sewn into the shirt" as it does
look that way from a distance.
For instance, I wear the Eagle Scout Square knot on either white or
blue with Sea Exploring shirts; on kelly green with Exploring shirts;
with khaki with my older Scout shirts; and on tan with the present
shirts. One award, five different ways to *wear it*, not *earn it*.
The same goes with both the Scouters's Training Award and the
Scouters' Key award. The small program emblems found on both knots
lets others know in which programs I've earned either the Key or the
As more and more Scouters thought the same way that David did, the BSA
stopped making the extra backgrounded knots and concentrated on
production of one knot background, which was first khaki and presently
tan. However, today's knot backgrounds are as important as the award
it represents (for instance, the Meany Labor knot is a light blue knot
on a red and white background; the Spurgeon Award knot knot is gold on
a kelly green background with a gold border; and the religious awards
knots are either deep purple on a grey (silver) background or a silver
mylar knot on a deep purple background).
As new awards were created, they would simply use knots used in the
past for older awards. For instance, the knot for the Heriosm Award is
the same dark red knot used for the Honor medal. What the BSA did is
to take out those older red knots on white (which were supposed to be
for Sea Explorers and leaders whom have earned the Honor Medal) and
allowed all holders of the Heriosm Award to wear the red on white
knot. It allows for some confusion when Scouters wear the same knot
for two awards, and this is one of those examples. The most frequent
example of this is the old Den Leader Coach Training Award knot and
the present Cub Scouters's Award knot (which is one and the same and
holders of both award can indeed wear two of the same knots on their
I hope that I've added to yours and others's education about the older
Settummanque!@HEY! Does anyone know how much the first Silver knots
are worth? Mamabird could really use a new computer!
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
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