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Neckerchiefs - the Great Conundrum

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We wear them under the collar and have pretty good participation, usually only a couple are missing each week.


I've noticed recently more guys are wearing the MB sash eash week. I kinda like it as it looks good and maybe motivates the young guys a little bit.


So far this year uniforming has been really good and consistent. The uniformed adults all go 100% including socks, belt, etc. and I think that helps to set the tone.


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Hi Folks,


While looking through the sale bins at our local Scout Shop a while back I came across a four-corner neckerchief packaged with a small book entitled Scouting with a Neckerchief by W. E. Longfellow, copyright 1927. The book is an obvious reproduction although there is no printed indication that it is.


In it, James E. West rails about boys wearing the neckerchief under instead of over the shirt collar. He instructs every Scout and Scout Official to make sure that they get their uniforming correct and warns To tolerate a conscious disregard for requirements, even in simple matters, breeds disrespect for law and order. Ouch! Im glad he isnt around to see my Cub Scouts in jeans. Sorry Mr. West, I do try!


I regularly wear a neckerchief over the collar. I prefer the older, four corner ones, which are cheap and plentiful on eBay. These neckerchiefs are large enough so that it really doesnt matter whether the collar is turned in or not. I dont turn it in. Scouting with a Neckerchief does not say whether the collar needs to be turned in.


OldGreyEagle, I too share your amazement of the fact that the iconic neckerchief is optional.





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To tolerate a conscious disregard for requirements, even in simple matters, breeds disrespect for law and order


James E. West could best be described as a martinet. And that was a time when most people adhered to stricter standards of following rules than we do today.


I'm not saying he was wrong, but I don't think I would use him as the ideal. :) Besides, if you ever see pictures of West with other uniformed Scouters, notice he is the only one wearing long pants. During most of his career the jodhpur or knicker type uniform was standard. He had a withered leg, but others must have had similar disfigurements.

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The neckers we make are bigger than the 34" square of the true flag. Because I personally make them, I found it easier to do the math (hate math!) to go with 36" square with a 12" red square in the center. The bigger size also makes a better necker, but more difficult to get through a standard slide. The necker at that size hangs to just above the waistline. I also make the Turks' Head slides to go with it and make it big enough to fit the extra material. The extra size makes it easier to fasten to their 6' walking staves with their shoe strings/cords using the sheet-bend knot. When we are in massive groups of other scouts taking their rank neckers off and replacing with troop neckers they fix their flag to their staves and the adults can see them in the sea of tan shirts! The SPL can also see all the PL's in the crowd too by looking around for the flag on the staves. My SPL has a second flag above the Meyer's flag which is the traditional patrol flag white bullet with 3 green stripes on it. My ASPL has a second flag white bullet with 2 1/2 green stripes on it. I carry a white bullet flag on my staff that has the old red/black Beaver patrol emblem on it (WB-Beaver) so my boys know where I am as well. I can spot my boys a mile away with the system. If it has an extra flag at the top it's my SPL or ASPL. At my age I can't always tell the length of the third stripe without telescope. :)


Neckers should be more than ornamental, they should be functional.



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Right on. I love neckerchiefs,too - always have. The neckerchief is the universally recognized symbol of scouting. European scouts would never be without their neckers - the same for scouts around the world. I have a ton of the old full-squares and ususally wear one of the older full-squares with my collar tucked under. The scouts in our troop love the old full-squares and get one when joining the troop - to keep when reaching first class.

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