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> updated 16/12/15
> updated 22/10/09
Centennial Ring emblem

Centennial Ring emblem

There is something else which took the place of the World Crest for the BSA's 100th Anniversary, right?

Wrong. In 2007, the BSA designed a special World Crest emblem to signify the BSA's 100th Anniversary. It was REJECTED by the BSA's National Executive Board. The following year, a special "ring emblem" to go AROUND (technically it is "on top of") the World Crest emblem was designed, approved and distributed to the field. ANY SCOUT, VENTURER, VOLUNTEER OR PROFESSIONAL may wear the special 100th Anniversary Ring emblem with the World Crest (the World Crest may have to be moved upward to accommodate the wearing of square knot insignia or other special insignia worn on the left front of the field uniform shirt).


Adult Program Left front How to Wear

How to Wear "Knot Emblems"

The square knots illustrated above (and others which are presented by local Councils or by other national Scouting organizations) are worn only on the field uniform of the Cub, Scout, Venturer or Scouter earning/receiving the award.

A square knot "uniform arranger" will soon be available. This is designed to show the proper display of the BSA's many cloth emblems representing it's national, regional, and local awards presented or earned by volunteers and youth members.

Feedback on the tool is requested. Thanks!

General Rules:
Embroidered knot emblems are NOT worn when the medal, medallion or metal uniform item is worn...the "knot emblems" are designed for informal, everyday wear by the Scout, Venturer, Sea Scout or Scouter. Using common sense, however, it is OK to wear both the knots and the medals during a formal occasion if you only own one uniform, although this would be considered in poor taste. Also considered poor taste is the wearing of more than 15 square knots, even though the uniform shirt can accommodate up to 18 emblems (six rows). This has NOT stopped many Scouters that have received more than this number in wearing the ones that they choose to.

There is NO wearing sequence for knot insignia; each Scout or Scouter can decide to wear or not wear the knot(s), can wear a few or all of the ones he or she has received or earned, and in the order and manner on the uniform that they choose to do so. In order to provide some form of uniformity, the BSA's Uniform and Insignia Committee came up many years back with a wearing arrangement for the knot emblems on the field uniform. It is illustrated below:

illustration of how to wear square knot insignia
knot arrangement illustration

The knots are worn centered on the left side of the uniform, above the left pocket and in rows of three with the bottom edge of the knot emblem(s) touching the top edge of the pocket flap. Subsequent rows of knots are placed above the initial set, in rows of three and again, at the discretion of the wearer. Another Scouter wrote me and suggested an alternative way of wearing the square knot insignia:

alternative way of displaying square knot insignia (submitted by Neil Lupton)
alternative knot arrangement illustration

In his case, the knot emblems are worn flush left as you see the left pocket of the uniform, above the left pocket and in rows of three with the bottom edge of the knot emblem(s) touching the top edge of the pocket flap. Subsequent rows of knots are placed above the initial set, in rows of three and again, at the discretion of the wearer as shown. He stated he does it this way so that he does not have to rearrange the emblems as he receives or earns a subsequent award.

Either method may be used, although the first one was published as part of the BSA's Insignia Control Guide in 1973.

Professionals and "knots"
In the past, professional (career) Scouters did NOT wear volunteer training awards or other awards for anything other than achievement and training. An "all hands" message from then-Chief Scout Executive Ben Love to the professional cadre in the early 90s reversed that "unwritten policy" and encouraged professional members of Scouting to wear all of the square knots that they are entitled to wear. The Professional Training Award was shortly created.

A longstanding restriction in allowing exceptional professionals to receive the Silver Beaver and District/Division Award of Merit Awards as well as several other service awards was also lifted.

Professionals and Professional-technicians may ONLY receive service and tenure awards based upon their VOLUNTEER SERVICE TO YOUTH and not as a direct result of their professional service to a District or local Council. New applications for the District/Division Award of Merit, Silver Beaver, and the Young Award all now state this clearly on the application.

If a professional or professional-technician is nominated for a BSA service or tenure award, in addition to the approval of the local Council's Scout Executive, the award must also be approved by the Deputy Chief Scout Executive at the National Office, BSA.

Venturers, Venturing Adults and "knots"
Venturers and Sea Scouts are considered YOUTH MEMBERS of the BSA. Therefore, they CAN NOT wear the square knot emblems representing the Eagle or Arrow of Light on their uniforms; they must wear the cloth Eagle and Arrow of Light emblems on the pocket of their shirts.

Venturers and Venturing adults wearing a "Distinctive Dress Identity" (DDI) should wear the knot emblems on the kelly green field uniform in the same manner as if wearing them on the "universal" or khaki-tan shirt. It will look very funny to wear emblems with a tan background on the kelly green uniform, but the BSA is no longer creating special versions of the most common knot awards with kelly green, blue or white backgrounds for the Venturer/Sea Scouting uniforms.

In response to this, some firms/organizations have cropped up to provide unofficial versions of those knot emblems featuring white, dark blue, or green backgrounds. While those emblems are NOT approved officially, with permission from a local Council's Scout Executive, they may be worn by those Scouters and Venturers who qualify for wearing the existing tan backgrounded awards.

The Ship's Store carry some square knots on either white or black/dark blue backgrounds, for wear on Sea Scout uniforms. Again, please note that those knots are NOT official BSA square knots. Note that the knots may also be worn on any other DDI that the Crew or Ship agree upon and as long as it is worn correctly and neatly.

Auction sites like eBay also offer older green, white or blue backgrounded knot emblems. Do a search in the Boy Scouting section for "knot".

Mike Walton welcome your comments and additions to this listing. Please send additions in *.JPG or *.GIF format to him, and he will update the site with your information and credit you or your local Council for the submission.


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