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> updated 2/1/16
> updated 20/12/15
The emblem representing what you feel is the "most important" award should be listed as "item number 1" when you "rank order" the display of your awards.
Square knot insignia used by the Boy Scouts of America

All Programs Square knot insignia Left Side Arranger Selector

Square Knot Uniform Arranger ("knotrack") Selector

WELCOME!! Before you start, PLEASE read the following:

ALL of the BSA's cloth badge representation ("square knot") insignia is located on this page. It is arranged according to type of award or recogntion it represents, and then in alphabetical order. The BSA has been using this manner of representation since 1931 and I have done my best, assisted by several Scouters and the BSA themselves, in creating and updating this page and those linked to it.

This page was last updated on 2 Jan 2016. The "knot shelf display" was created by Freelancer Joe Kuckelman and Scouter Mike Walton. Please use the link below to provide feedback on the usefulness of this tool.

While you may be able to display ALL of the cloth insignia representing those awards and recognitions you have earned or received, the BSA is trying to reduce the overall "clutter" on the field uniform shirt. One way is to reduce the number and type of awards represented by a "knot emblem" from close to 50 to 28 by 2016. Another way is to ask -- ASK, not demand or insist -- that you limit the number of "square knot insignia" you wear to:

  • no more than 15 cloth emblems on the "historic" (the shirts made after 1940 and before 1974) or "legacy" (or "Oscar de la Rente" version made between 1975 and 2007) field uniform shirts (I know for a fact that 22 or more "knot emblems" can be worn on those shirts);
  • no more than 12 cloth emblems on either version of the current "Centennial" field uniform shirts (I know for a fact that 18 or more "knot emblems" can be worn on those shirts).

(I did NOT make up the "guidance". I am still asking the BSA to please explain to me which 15 or 12 awards and recognitions I should wear, forgoing all of the rest which have been presented or earned by me since 1969!

This is the reason why the number of "knot emblems" you choose to wear is simply up to you and only your discretion.)

When selecting more than 12 awards or recognitions, you will get a message like this as a precaution ONLY:

"The wearing of more than 12 (current shirts) or 15 (all shirts) is not recommended by the BSA's National Insignia and Uniforming Task Force. You are selecting and/or wearing additional cloth "knot emblems" above those numbers with this awareness." You have to click to clear the "nag screen" with each additional item past 12. Sorry...

Awards presented/received by you from other nations (for instance, Iraq, the Netherlands, El Salvador, Great Britain, Australia, Kenya, Canada, etc. etc.) as well as the World Scouting Bureau are NOT LISTED HERE. The BSA's policy is that you wear those awards (and their cloth representations, if they have such items) ONLY when activily participating in a Scouting activity or event with those from that nation; or during a World or International encampment like a Jamboree. This is the reason why those items are NOT listed here, but many ARE listed on other pages here within the Badge and Uniform Site. They are normally worn immediately above the BSA award "cloth representations" ("square knots").

Devices -- like the small Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity, Venturing, or Sea Scout program emblem; or the Commissioners' or Committeemembers' emblem; or other devices are NOT listed right now. Let's get this going first before adding additional items.

There exists NO "order of precedence" listing. That list went away in the 70s. You choose to wear (or not to wear) any and all of the cloth representations of those awards you have earned or received. In other words, you place the Eagle or Silver Buffalo or Boyce Organizer cloth "knots" as the top-most item because you feel it is "highest" or "most important" to you -- which makes this tool unique to you and your Scouting experience.

Finally, only those local Council and unit awards I know of and have verified as valid awards through local Councils are displayed here. No other insignia "knot pieces" are listed, though I am aware that others are out there.


Please "check" the block beside the award YOU have received or earned; and then in the box beside it, create the order you want them displayed on your shirt.

Once you are done, click the button at the bottom of the page and it will take you to a new page which will show the awards you selected. There you can print or just see on your computer screen what they are supposed to look like on your uniform shirt. You can go back and change the order or remove items and then click the button again to see the changes. NOTHING IS KEPT ON THIS SERVER, so whatever you have selected will go away once you leave the site.

Here's a handy way to see YOUR awards and recognitions and how they SHOULD BE DISPLAYED upon a tan (default) "Centennial" or "current" shirt. The EXACT SAME PLACEMENT would be on the older blue Cub Scout youth or adult shirts, the older Boy Scout khaki shirts, the green Venturing or Exploring shirts or the white or blue Sea Scouting shirt or jacket. The BSA no longer makes the square knot insignia with background colors matching the uniform shirt.

Each emblem is shown as it should be worn on the official field uniforms of the BSA -- old, new, current. They are displayed "right side up". Some are listed with the old khaki background; others are listed with the current khaki-tan background; and some are listed with both. The BSA IS ONLY CURRENTLY PRODUCING ONE VERSION OF EACH KNOT EMBLEM. You wear ONLY ONE square knot emblem representing the award you have earned or received. For instance, if you earned the Scouters' Training Award as a Cub Scouter and later as a Boy Scouter, you would wear ONE square knot emblem with a Cub Scout and Boy Scout program device attached to the medal's ribbon and to the square knot emblem. More on the devices.

With regard to the Eagle Scout recognitions, please list ONLY ONE of the three "variations" since you can only wear ONE Eagle Scout square knot representation. So if you are a holder of the Distinguished or Outstanding Eagle Scout Award or a Life member of the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA), please select ONE of those and please do not select the regular Eagle Scout square knot also. You can only wear ONE -- the standard Eagle Scout Award representation, the NESA Life Member recognition, the Outstanding Eagle Scout Award or the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award recognition -- with the uniform.

The emblem representing what you feel is the "most important" award should be listed as "item number 1" when you "rank order" the display of your awards.

Choose from the award or recognition YOU have earned or received:

  • awards based upon advancement or achievement:
    • Arrow of Light (Cub Scouting's highest youth rank)
    • Eagle (Boy Scouting's highest youth rank)
    • Quartermaster (Sea Scouting's highest youth rank)
    • Silver Award (worn also by those who earned other Exploring awards)
    • Summit Award (worn also by those who earned the Venturing Silver Award)
    • Ranger Award (optional Venturing award)

  • awards based upon personal recognition in some program area:
    • Religious Emblem (earned as a YOUTH member )
    • Hornaday Award (representing the Bronze or Silver medal)
    • Hornaday Badge
    • Heroism Medal
    • Merit Medal
    • Honor Medal
    • West Fellowship Award
    • Boyce Organizer Award
    • Speakers' Bank Award
    • Alumni Award
    • Venturing Leadership Award

  • awards based upon service or long tenure in the program:
    • Religious Emblem (received as a ADULT member )
    • Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
    • Outstanding Eagle Scout Award
    • NESA Life Member Eagle recognition
    • Silver World Award
    • Silver Buffalo Award
    • Silver Antelope Award
    • Silver Beaver/Silver Fawn Award
    • District/Division Award of Merit
    • Commissioner Award of Merit
    • International Scouters' Award
    • Order of the Arrow (OA) Distinguished Service Award
    • Spurgeon Award
    • Young Rural/Urban Service Award
    • Vale la Pena Hispanic Scouting Service Award
    • Asian Scouting Service Award
    • George Meany Award
    • Community Service Award
    • Commssioner Service Award for Unit Service

  • awards based upon completion of a training plan:
    • Scoutmaster/Coach/Advisor Award of Merit
    • Unit Leader Award of Merit
    • Scouters' Training Award
    • Scouters' Key Award
    • Den Leader (Training) Award
    • Cub Scout Den Leader Training Award
    • Den Leader Coach (Training) Award
    • Cub Scouter/Den Leader Coach Training Award
    • WEBELOS Den Leader (Training) Award
    • Cubmaster (Training) Award
    • Tiger Cub Leader (Training) Award
    • Pack Trainer (Training) Award
    • Professional Training Award
    • Sea Badge (Training) Award
    • Doctorate of Commissioner Science Training recognition
    • Philmont Training Center recognition

  • local Council-authorized knot emblems representing their local awards (these are NOT Nationally-produced/distributed emblems):
    • Girl Scout Gold Award
    • District Scouter of the Year, Gamehaven Council
    • Bighorn District Scouter of the Year
    • Silver Jackalope Award
    • Youth Leadership in America Award
    • Tippey Award
    • Silver Alligator (Troop) Award
    • Silver Anchor Award (Sea Scout Ship 90 Award)
    • Traditional Sea Badge Emblem (unofficial)
    • Wood Badge emblem (unofficial)
    • Silver Scouter (College Scouter) Award
    • Why Knot" (local Council adaptation)
    • Troop 107 "Why Knot", Wiesbaden, Germany (Tranatlantic Council)
    • Silver Squirrel Award, Troop 923 Chicago Area Council
    • Unofficial National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) Staff recognition

    (As a reminder, please insure that you have your Council Scout Executive's permission before wearing any of the local Council-authorized emblems. They are NOT available through the BSA.)

Once you are complete, click on the button to have the computer to create your "knot shelf":


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