Re: Wearing the World Crest
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Fri, 19 May 1995 15:50:14 CDT
Here's what I've written earlier on the World Crest and how come what
was an earned badge by you and I and some others, is now a "purchase
item" and an OPTIONAL WEAR item (as stated here on the list) by Scouts
and Scouters. Also, as posted here, there IS a "replacement" for the
World Crest...a three-inch blue patch with the BSA Universal emblem in
fullcolor surrounded by the rope and knot found on the World Crest.
The INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION PATCH, jacket, hat, and neckerchief
are for TEMPORARY wear by those Scouters and Scouts taking part in an
"international activity or event" (which DOES NOT have to be in a
foriegn country anymore!!). The patch is worn as a temporary patch on
the RIGHT POCKET, NOT as I've seen some try to wear it, on the left
shoulder (only the World Crest goes there).
(begin included text)
The BSA decided that only those Scouts and Scouters that met the
following strict requirements would be able to wear it on the BSA's
official uniforms: you either had to attend a World Jamboree, be
stationed in a location where you had direct contact with Scouts and
Scouters from other member nations of the WOSM, or you must have
attended a World Scouting conference; or you must have had a Scout
visitor stay with you for at least five days in lenght.
The patch was known in the sixties as the "OVERSEAS BADGE" of
Scouting, because only those Scouts and Scouters from military or
civilian communities whom were stationed overseas could earn/wear it.
Once earned, it was considered a PERMANENT part of the uniform. Once
you earned it, no matter how many times you do the same or similiar
events, you STILL only got to wear ONE World Crest. Therefore,
it became something of a "distinctive marking" and those former
members of the "overseas Councils" treated it as so. Even though
later in the late 60s, the requirements were modified -- to allow those
that attended a National Jamboree and hosted Scouts from other WOSM
nations during that event; or to participate in an international
Scouting event in which Scouts and Scouters from other nations would
be in attendance -- it was still considered a "TAC (Transatlantic
Council), FEC (Far East Council), CZC (Canal Zone Council) or DSC
(Direct Service Council)" marker.
If you wore one then, you HAD to have come from one of those Councils
or have attended a World Jamboree.
In the later 70s, the BSA, under increasing pressure to make the badge
available to all Scouts and Scouters, started modifying the
requirements even further and included BSA events where a
International exhibit would be present. Immediately after that policy
was announced, the Scout Executives of the seven "Overseas Councils"
along with Scout Executives of many other Councils cried "foul". As
one Council Executive wrote the Operations staff, "How can you take a
special symbol to many Scouts and Scouters that learned French or
Italian or Russian only to interact and work alongside other Scouts
and Scouters and equate it to picking up a brochure at a Council Scout
Show?! Not only does it not make sense, it smacks of jealousy on the
part of those unfortunate enough NOT to be able to participate on that
scale of our program".
He was absolutely correct about his assessment of the situation.
National didn't listen, of course, and in late 1989, announced via all
of it's media that the World Crest would be worn IMMEDIATELY by ALL
members, youth and adult, volunteer and professional, as a sign of
"World Brotherhood and Friendship with all members of the World
Scouting community". There would no longer be a special patch to be
worn for participating in an international activity (the BSA turned
back and "re-instated" the three-inch BSA international emblem to be
worn TEMPORARILY by those Scouts and Scouters that participate in an
face-to-face encounter with Scouts from other nations in 1991.)
Local Councils were instructed to set aside monies or to do special
project sales so that ALL members of the local Council could receive a
World Crest in the mail along with instructions on how to wear it.
Even then, many local Councils, citing the inability to "create monies
to give everyone a badge" and more importantly, remembering the
special symbolism associated with earning the World Crest, didn't give
out the World Crests...they made Scouts and Scouters BUY them. This
really made a lot of former overseas Scouts and Scouters EXTREMELY
mad, as was evident when I first signed on Scouts-L and was
immediately asked about my opionion on this stupid decision.
(you could have guess what I thought about it by now, I am sure. For
those not so transparent, I don't like it at all!)
Today, there are two groups of Scouters and Scouts that are wearing
the World Crest, and you can tell the difference between the two. The
older ones, wearing World Crest patches which are off-purple and
fading, or silkscreened World Crest emblems EARNED them (as I did) by
participating in an International activity or event sometime until
1989. Everyone else is wearing cloth World Crests, which are dark
blue or dark purple, as a sign of "world brotherhood". More than
three-quarters of them don't even know WHY they had to purchase the
patch let alone why wear it on the left shoulder above the pocket and
three inches below the seam (or epulet).
(end included text)
I am wearing a World Crest which came from the International Scout
Centre in Kandersteg, Switzerland. It has been woven, not
embrordered, and it very distinctive from the BSA World Crests. On ne
uniform, I still wear my FIRST World Crest, which is fading, light
purple, with some fraying around the edges.
Thanks for all of the comments on the World Crest, including those
that questioned why in the world we are talking about the placement of
a patch, of all things. I brought this topic up because we in the USA
have a lot of confusion about what the purpose of the patch is, where
it goes and who wears it now. Like the rank placement on the pocket,
and the Jamboree patch placement over the "Boy Scouts of America"
strip, this is one of those things that BSA should have left well
enough alone. However, when jealousies get in the way of clear
thought processes, we get policies like this one.
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
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