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meaning of BSA symbol--fleur dis lis

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  • meaning of BSA symbol--fleur dis lis

    What is the meaning of the BSA symbol that we all wear on our uniforms? The small round one with the purple background and the fleur-dis-lis with the knot?

  • #2
    From the Scouting Insignia Guide:

    World Crest, cloth, No. 00143, all Scouts and leaders, centered horizontally over left pocket and vertically between left shoulder seam and top of pocket. May be worn by all members of Scouting to symbolize their membership in the World Scouting movement.


    • #3
      This is The Scout Association (UK) factsheet on the World Membership Badge.



      • #4
        As a cool side note, watching Bear Grylls in Man vs Wild, if you look at his coats on the show, you will often see the world crest on the sleeve of his coat.
        Very befitting a Chief Scout.


        • #5
          The World Crest

          The World Crest is a Scout emblem that has been worn by an estimated 250 million Scouts since the Scouting movement was founded in 1919. It is still worn by 28 million Scouts in 216 countries and territories and is one of the world's best-known symbols.

          Scouts and members of the public often ask how the emblem originated. Lord Baden-Powell himself gave the answer: "Our badge we took from the 'North Point' used on maps for orienteering." Lady Baden-Powell said later, "It shows the true way to go." The emblem's symbolism helps to remind Scouts to be as true and reliable as a compass in keeping to their Scouting ideals and showing others the way.

          The crest is designed with a center motif encircled by a rope tied with a reef or square knot, which symbolizes the unity and brotherhood of the movement throughout the world. Even as one cannot undo a reef knot no matter how hard one pulls on it, so, as it expands, the movement remains united.

          The three tips of the center fleur-de-lis represent the three points of the Scout Promise. In some countries, the two decorative five-pointed stars stand for truth and knowledge.

          The crest is white on a royal purple background. These colors are symbolic as well. In heraldry, white represents purity and royal purple denotes leadership and help given to other people.

          The World Crest is an emblem of the World Organization of the Scout Movement and is authorized for wear on the uniform of all member associations as a symbol of membership in a world brotherhood. It is authorized by the Boy Scouts of America to be worn by all adult and youth members as a permanent patch centered horizontally over the left pocket and vertically between the left shoulder seam and the top of the pocket.

          The BSA donates a small portion of the proceeds from each patch sold to the World Scout Foundation to assist with the development of Scouting's emerging nations.


          • #6
            According to the First Edition of the Scout Handbook, the thing that looks exactly like a fleur-de-lis is not a fleur-de-lis.

            "The scout badge is not intended to represent the fleur-de-lis, or an arrowhead. It is a modified form of the sign of the north on the mariner's compass, which is as old as the history of navigation. The Chinese claim its use among them as early as 2634 B.C., and we have definite information that it was used at sea by them as early as 300 A.D."

            (Page 12)


            • #7
              Not to hijack this thread, but I have the idea of turning this history into a Scoutmaster Minute. I have looked online for a good compass rose which resembles a fleur-de-lis. It would suit my discussion to first have an image of the object from which it all came.


              • #8

                Any mariner's compass will do. Try for images of nautical compasses.


                • #9
                  Clemlaw, I think later BSA publications do acknowledge that it is a fleur de lis. I don't have one handy though. I did a Google search and found a couple of references on to the fleur de lis as a Scouting symbol but there were no pictures so I'm not sure exactly which insignia they were referring to. It has been generally understood, since I was a Scout, that the "Scout" badge depicts a fleur de lis.(This message has been edited by njcubscouter)


                  • #10
                    More anti-French bias from the English?


                    • #11
                      As long as the NFL doesn't go after the BSA for copyright infringement, I'd be happy.

                      Oh wait, the BSA was founded before the New Orleans Saints, NEVER MIND

                      oh and a WHO DAT!


                      • #12
                        If you were against the French, would that be anti-franco? And if you are Anti-franco, what has what position you take on the Spainish Civil war to do with the French anyway?

                        Anyway, from the World of Scouting Web page

                        Scout Emblem
                        After his second stay in India, Baden Powell created a fleur-de-lys badge for his Scout Group. Just as in maritime maps this symbolises North, the Scouts of the world make it the symbol which identifies them.

                        So, its a Fleur dis lis AND a compass, we are all winners, whats better than that?
                        Scout Emblem

                        BTW this just in from Chevy Chase: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead