Re: Community strips
(no name) ((no email))
Wed, 20 Mar 1996 18:12:21 -0600
George Crowl explained much about the old community/state
strips. I wanted to add a couple more lines to his great
>Councils have existed nearly from the beginning of Scouting. My
>council celebrates its 75th anniversary next year, and
>essentially the whole country was divided into council
>territories by the 30s. Districts are newer than councils.
The BSA divided itself into "local Councils" since 1921. The
District concept stated somewhere around the mid 30s in larger
Councils and was extended to all local Councils in the 40s.
>On the other hand, I believe that council strips are much younger
>than councils. I do not remember seeing a council strip as a
>youth (I joined in 1947), maybe not until the 60s.
The first Council "strips" as we know them today, appeared in
1948 (a year after you joined) and was restricted to those adults
serving on the District or Council level (the past runner to today's
"silver shoulder loops" *grinning*). In the middle 50s, as many
local Councils were tired of purchasing mass quantities of "city and
state" strips, some Councils opted for the "cheaper" Council strips
for ALL of its membership. The BSA allowed local Councils to either
have it's unit membership wear the community and state strips, the
Council strip, or the (then newer) Council Shoulder Patch -- but NOT
in any combination -- with the new "Improved Scouting Program" in
Most Councils shortly after the new program abandoned the Community
and State strips, and in 1980, the BSA officially "shelved" the last
of the Community and State strips. Like ALL BSA insignia, it is still
consided "official" IF you can still get your hands on the old red and
white (the only colors required now; as George wrote below, there were
other constrasting colors used until 1952 or 53, when the BSA's Supply
Division decided that only one color should be used, and that's the red
and white normally associated with the Boy Scout program) community and
>We only had community and state strips. They were curved as the top of
>the council strips are now, about same width across the shoulder, but
>1/2-3/4" high, with the words COON RAPIDS. The state strip was
>worn centered below the community strip, and was about 1/2 the
>width. Many state names were abbreviated, but I suspect that
>IOWA was spelled out (because OHIO was!).
>Someone mentioned red & white. Well,. . . not in 1946. Up until
>sometime in the mid-late 50s, each program had distinctive
>colors. Boy Scouts wore red on khaki (the troop number was white
>on red, as it is now). Cubs wore yellow on blue (the pack number
>was blue on yellow). Explorers wore brown on green, etc., etc.
>I can understand the inventory problem, and why national changed
>to red & white, then to council strips. However, I believe the
>community strips are still legal. Take a close look at an old
>Norman Rockwell painting, he was always pretty accurate.
I have seen a better usage for them, however: to "personalize" the current
stock BSA neckerchiefs. A Troop in Madisonville, Kentucky, had a fistful
of those strips and instead of throwing them away, they sewed them above
the BSA emblem on the back of the red neckerchief, making the neckerchief
more of a "historic piece" as well as to retain and use the old strip.
Use the CSP. Keep the old red/white commmunity and state strips for
historic reasons or to personalize your unit. Yeah, Kathie, we are ALL
members of a local Council, but first and foremost, we are (or should be,
according to the BSA's current thought pattern) members of a unit.
And that unit belongs within a community and state. Or country. Or territory.
>All this trivia is courtesy of a guy who is realizing that he is
>rapidly becoming overage in grade.
Me too, George, me too.
Hope that the additional background helps out.
Settummanque! (with a old "Fort Knox, KY" strip on a shirt and in a frame!)
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle) (
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