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> updated 10/04/09
Womens' Reserve badge of office
What's THAT about? "Womens' Reserve"? The short answer is that it's a holdover from the days in which women could not serve as Scouters in Boy Scout or Varsity Scout unit but were still valued as Scouters which could assist the unit.

There's also this page which can provide more background on the insignia.


All Insignia Left Side "Rainbow Colored Patches"

"Rainbow Colored Patches"

Ray wrote and asked:

I've heard from other Scouters that the BSA does not allow patches depicting rainbows, because of the whole "gay Scout" issue. Some people said that the "patch police" will come around and take your "rainbow designed patches" and destroy them because "the Boy Scouts don't like gays". Is this true or is someone yanking my chain?"

Someone's trying to lead you on; they have been very much misinformed. Here's the specifics:

The Boy Scouts of America has *never* told local Councils nor advised Council Scout Executives to refuse patch designs featuring rainbows or the color pattern reflective of the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered) community. They have NEVER instructed anyone to collect, shred, burn or cut up patches or other insignia pieces featuring a multicolored rainbow design, flag or emblem.

One of the BSA's local Councils is actually NAMED the "Rainbow Council" (Council number 703, headquartered in Morris, Illinois) and they have NOT been asked to rename their Council or any of their properties in light of this issue.

Rainbow Council Shoulder Patch insigniaRainbow Council Shoulder Patch insignia

Additionally, the Rio Grande Council in Texas features a rainbow on it's Council Shoulder patch insignia; they have not been advised nor asked to change their design in light of the BSA inclusiveness debate and/or policy:

Rio Grande Council Shoulder Patch insigniaRio Grande Council Shoulder Patch insignia

The BSA also has a national awareness project now going on for the 15th year. The Donor Awarness program encourages Scout units and individuals to sign citizens up for local blood, platelets, hair, bone marrow and organ donation programs. A colorful patch (featuring a rainbow) is available for Scouts and Scouters to wear as temporary items on their uniform shirts.

Donor Awareness insigniaDonor Awareness insignia

Finally, local Districts and Councils are free to use any design which supports their event (which includes a "rainbow") on patches and insignia for Scouts and Scouters to wear.

local District camporee participation patchlocal Council event participation patchLocal District (Left) and local Council (Right) insignia featuring rainbows.

As you can see, there is NOT a prohibition preventing local Councils or their Districts, nor individual Scouts and Scouters from wearing anything displaying a rainbow. Many Scouters who support the BSA's inclusiveness policy has worn special "rainbow" streamers attached to their right pockets as a show of support, which is allowed by BSA insignia and uniform policy.

During the 2001 and 2005 National Scout Jamborees, it was rumored that people were going around collecting and destoying anything with a rainbow design or depicting a rainbow. The Council Scout Executive of the BSA's Rainbow Council requested in 2001 that such rumors and/or actions be stopped via press releases and information distributed to Scouts and Scouters attending the Jamboree. Even so, some "good intentioned" people with NO AUTHORITY from the National Council, BSA, did indeed collect and cut up some "rainbow designed" patches. Once found, those individuals were instructed to leave the Jamboree site and to provide appropriate restitution to those Scouts and Scouters whose patches they destroyed without authorization. Nothing similar occured during the 2005 Jamboree, although there were rumors based upon the earlier actions during the 2001 Jamboree.

The creation of special "rainbow" colored shoulder loops or other insignia not designed for temporary wear (with the exception of special Council Shoulder Patch insignia approved by the local Council) by the individual Scout, Venturer, or Scouter is NOT ALLOWED.

Hopefully this will clarify the status of "rainbow colored or designed insignia".


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