Lew Orans (lporans@ONRAMP.NET)
Thu, 13 Jun 1996 01:41:35 -0500
While there has been a good deal of discussion and background about the use
of a swastika badge in Scouting, I thought it would be useful to share a bit
of Scouting history from the Founder's own pen. The following is from
Baden-Powell's "What Scouts Can Do--More Yarns--Chapter VII" published in=
Please bear in mind that this was written in 1921, long before the rise of
the Nazi Party in Germany and their adoption of the Swastika as their
symbol. As B-P points out, the swastika design existed in many cultures.
The word "swastika" derives from the word "svastika" in the ancient Sanskrit
language of India. It means "well-being." =20
Random House Webster's College Dictionary provides the following
definitions: 1. a symbolic or ornamental figure of ancient origin,
consisting of a cross with arms of equal length, each arm having a
continuation at right angles in a uniformly clockwise or counterclockwise
direction. 2. this figure as the emblem of the Nazi Party and the Third=
From: Baden-Powell's "What Scouts Can Do--More Yarns--Chapter VII"
On the stole of an ancient bishop of Winchester, Edyndon, who died
is the Swastika or Scouts' Thanks Badge. It was at that time called
the " Fylfot,"=20
and was said to represent Obedience or Submission, the different
arms of the=20
cross being in reality legs in the attitude of kneeling.
But as you know from the account of the Swastika Thanks Badge which
given you in Scouting for Boys, this symbol was used in almost every
the world in ancient days, and therefore has various meanings given
It has been found engraved on weapons belonging to the Norsemen. It=
also engraved on the spindles used by the ancient Greeks in their-
In India rice is spread on the ground in the form of the Swastika at
of a baby boy to bring him luck. The Indians in North America use
it as an=20
ornament, and it has been found engraved on ancient pottery in Peru.
How it got from one country to another, separated as they are by
it is difficult to guess, but some people who say they know all
things, affirm that there was once a great continent where now there
Atlantic Ocean, but it went under the sea in an earthquake.
This continent was called Atlantis, and joined up Europe with=
It was supposed to have four vast rivers running from a central
in different directions=97North, East, South, and West=97and the=
is merely a map of Atlantis showing those four rivers rising from
Anyway, whatever its origin was the Swastika now stands for the=
of Fellowship among Scouts all over the world, and when anyone has=
a kindness to a Scout it is their privilege to present him=97or
token of their gratitude, which makes him a sort of member of the=20
Brotherhood, and entitles him to the help of any other Scout at any
and at any place.
I want specially to remind Scouts to keep their eyes open and never
spot anyone wearing this badge. It is their duty then to go up to
make the Scout sign, and ask if they can be of any service to the
I have heard of several instances where Scouts have done this, and
greatly increased the value of the Thanks Badge to the persons who=
wearing it when they found that Scouts recognized it and were=
to do a Good Turn to them.
Yours in Scouting,
Sam Houston Area Council
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