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What is the meaning of the BSA emblem?

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  • What is the meaning of the BSA emblem?

    Someone asked me the other day if I knew what the fleur-de-lis means. I googled it and didn't come up with much of anything. I was wondering if anyone on this list has information on how the BSA choose it as their emblem.

    Best,

    Carol

  • #2
    mom2specialboyz,


    Greetings!

    I've heard and read this in a few similar literature and webpages. Although I cannot quickly find any "concrete evidence" BSA published literature that states the meaning of the BSA emblem. Below is a good description.


    Here is is cut and pasted below
    (Quote)
    The shape of the complete Scout badge, which is also on the First Class badge of rank, was adapted from the north point of an old maritime compass. The design is often called a trefoil - a flower with three leaves. It is also known by its French name, fleur-de-lis - lily or iris flower. The shape resembles an arrowhead.

    With slight changes, the trefoil badge is used by Scouts around the world. The trefoil means that a Scout can point the right way in life as truly as a compass can in the field. The three points, like the fingers of the Scout sign, stand for the three parts of the Scout Oath: duty to God and country, duty to others, and duty to self.
    (UnQuote)

    Scouting Forever and Venture On!
    Crew21 Adv

    Comment


    • #3
      You should be able to find it in the Webelos Book or BSHB as those are requirements for AOL and Tenderfoot respectively, if memory serves.

      In addition to what Crew said, I'm adding the following

      The two stars represent truth and knowledge

      The Scroll contains out motto "Be Prepared" and is turned upward like a smile to remind us that a "Scout is Cheerful"

      The knot underneath the scroll is to remind us of our slogan, "Do a Good Turn Daily"

      The Eagle and shield represent out country.

      Again this is all from memory so I may have left out a few things.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you ahve a copy of access to the new Webelos Den leader Guide Look on Page 9. Left column, UNder the diagrams of the Scout badge. It is all explained there.

        If you are still having problems finding it let me know and I will try to put it in with some more detail.

        I hope this helps

        Comment


        • #5
          The three points, like the fingers of the Scout sign, stand for the three parts of the Scout Oath: duty to God and country, duty to others, and duty to self.

          Note that in the rest of the world the fleur-de-lis and the Scout Sign represent the three parts of Baden-Powell's Scout Promise: 1) To do my duty to God and my country; 2) To help other people at all times; 3) To obey the Scout Law.

          The "duty to others, and duty to self" interpretation was an American invention that became necessary when the YMCA took over the BSA and added their three principles (Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Spirit) to the end of Baden-Powell's three points.

          Kudu

          Comment


          • #6
            Kudu,
            Interesting, and cool form my perspective. I did a CS promotion ceremony last nite and explained why teh necker is now 3 sides and how it's is a symbolic represetnation of the 3 points of the CS Promise: Duty to God and country, duty to others, and... to obey the Law of the Pack.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't think I've ever heard the others/self thing. Where did that come from, crew?

              I've always understood the three points of the Scout Law to be the three clauses, separated by semi-colons.

              1) On my Honor I will do my best to do m duty to God and my country and to obey Scout Law;

              2) To help other people at all times;

              3) To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

              I suppose if you wanted to distill that further, God & Country, self and others is okay.

              Comment


              • #8
                "I don't think I've ever heard the others/self thing. Where did that come from, crew? "

                Been around for a long time. I've long said the 3 points are: Duty to God/Country, Duty to Others, Duty to Self.

                "
                1) On my Honor I will do my best to do m duty to God and my country and to obey Scout Law; THAT's "Duty to God/Country"

                2) To help other people at all times; THAT's "Duty to Others"

                3) To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight. THAT'S "Duty to Self"



                Also, there is a different between a trefoil and a fleur-de-lis.

                The Scout Badge is a fleur-de-lis (compass point or 3 pointed lily). The Girl Guide badge is a trefoil: a 3 leafted clover.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My understanding was that Baden Powell just used an existing British Army "Scout" insignia from those soldiers designated to lead the way. Later he added the Scouting meanings previously stated to this design of a commonly used insignia.

                  Here's an interesting link about the history of the Scout fleur de lis or arrowhead.

                  http://www.scouting.milestones.btinternet.co.uk/fleur.htm

                  My $0.02

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    RS,
                    And you do know that a certain ambidexstruous (sp) artist serving in the British Army designed that badge, right? I'll give ya a hint, he later became known as Baron Gilwell

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My understanding was that Baden Powell just used an existing British Army "Scout" insignia from those soldiers designated to lead the way. Later he added the Scouting meanings previously stated to this design of a commonly used insignia.

                      The "duty to others, duty to self" "Scouting meanings" were invented by the YMCA, not Baden-Powell. This eliminated "obey the Scout Law" as the third point and replaced it with "Duty to Self" (AKA the YMCA's Three Principles).

                      To Scouts in the rest of the world, the three points of the Scout Promise are simply the three points as follows:

                      On my honor I promise that I will do my best:

                      1) To do my duty to God and my country; THAT's "duty to God and my country"

                      2) To help other people at all times; THAT's "help other people at all times"

                      3) To obey the Scout Law. THAT's "obey the Scout Law"

                      If you have ever tried to get a ten-year-old to explain the BSA's three meanings, you can begin to understand how the YMCA's American Scouting program was designed for moralistic adults, and Baden-Powell's program was designed for active boys.

                      Kudu

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the corrections and embellishments.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          How about this....

                          The fleur-de-lis is the main element in the logo of most Scouting organizations, representing a major theme in Scouting: the outdoors and wilderness.[1] The three petals or leaves represent the threefold Scout Promise (Duty to God and Country, Duty to Self, Duty to Others) in much the same way as the three leaves of the trefoil represent the threefold promise for the Guides. Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement, explained that the Scouts adopted the fleur-de-lis symbol from its use in the compass rose because it "points in the right direction (and upwards) turning neither to the right nor left, since these lead backward again." The two small five-point stars stand for truth and knowledge. Together their ten points represent the ten original Scout laws. The reef knot or square knot represents the strength of World Scouting. The rope is for the unity of Scouts throughout the world. The ring holding the petals together represents the bond of brotherhood.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "My understanding was that Baden Powell just used an existing British Army "Scout" insignia from those soldiers designated to lead the way. Later he added the Scouting meanings previously stated to this design of a commonly used insignia."

                            Actually, it was B-P who CREATED the British army scout training and its insignia.

                            Keep in mind that it was B-P work: "Scouting for NCOs & Men" that set down the British Army Scout training, and which became the basis for B-P's Scouting for Boys program.

                            This is known as "stealing from yourself" or "reuse".

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              B-P borrowed, collaborated, and organized well, so I think it is hard to know at times whose "work" it was.
                              Was it B-P? Or maybe Simon Fraser (Lord Lovat) who formed the Scottish Highland regiment Lovat Scouts (British Army) or Major Frederick Russell Burnham (an American) who trained the Lovat Scouts and B-P for that matter or ... ?

                              My $0.01

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