Re: Crest and Participation (Was Re: Wor
Bob Gallo (rmgallo@NETGSI.COM)
Sat, 23 Aug 1997 12:10:45 -0400
Commenting on Mike Walton's recent post on wearing of the U.S. flag on
The wearing of the U.S. flag on the Scout uniform is a relatively recent
occurrence with respect to B.S.A.'s history. Wearing of the U.S. flag
on the right shoulder did not become a part of the Boy Scout and
Explorer uniforms until around 1971 (I wore the U.S. flag on the right
shoulder of my Scout uniform for the first time when I attended the 1971
World Jamboree, and doing so was a recent occurrence at that time). At
about the same time, the U.S. flag also became a part of the Cub Scout
uniform, where it was originally worn over the right pocket.
>From about 1968 until around 1971, the present U.S. Flag patch made by
B.S.A. was an "overseas" patch controlled through B.S.A.'s international
division and issued only to B.S.A. members traveling as B.S.A.
representatives outside of the United States and it's territories. (I
don't know whether or not this applied to boys and leaders in the Far
East, Transatlantic and other "overseas" councils). It was worn on the
right pocket of the uniform and red wool jacket (and corresponding
location on the old red poplin jacket) as a temporary patch. Back then,
you were suppose to remove the flag patch when you returned home.
I seem to recall that wearing the U.S. flag on the Scout uniform was not
allowed by B.S.A. before around 1968. I don't remember why. I think it
had something to do with the laws dealing with the U.S. flag that
existed at the time. Instead of the U.S. flag, the B.S.A. "overseas"
patch (issued from around the late-1950's until replaced by the U.S.
flag patch in 1968(?)) was a shield shaped patch having a flying eagle,
dark yellow border, vertical red and white stripes for the lower 2/3, a
blue field for the upper 2/3, and "Boy Scouts of America." This was
worn by B.S.A. participants to the 1957(?), 1959 and 1963 World
Jamborees as the B.S.A. contingent patch, and was also issued by
International Division for B.S.A. members traveling as B.S.A.
representatives outside the U.S. and its territories. The "overseas"
shield patch was not worn by B.S.A. members attending the 1967 World
Jamboree because that jamboree was held in the United States (Farragut
State Park, Idaho). I don't know if B.S.A. had an "overseas" patch
before the shield patch I just described, but the U.S. flag was not
Today's B.S.A. International Activity patch (as opposed to the World
Crest emblem) seems to be a descendant of the old B.S.A. "overseas"
patch concept, but are not as tightly controlled, not limited to travel
outside of the U.S. and territories, and may be worn indefintely as a
Anyway, these are my comments based upon my boyhood Scouting memories
- BOB GALLO
Eagle Scout Class of 1971
Bustlin' Beavers, Wood Badge Course SC-178 (Aug 1980)
Delta Crew, Sea Badge Course NE-VI (Nov 92)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City