SCOUT SYMBOLS AND ATTRIBUTES
There are several unifying elements in Scouting: symbols and attributes.
Scout emblem (badge)
The Scout emblem has been a symbol of the Movement since its inception. 250 million Scouts wore this emblem. Now: It is used by 16 million Scouts in many countries around the world. The emblem is widely known and recognized everywhere as a symbol of the Scout Movement, even where Scouting itself does not yet exist.
People often ask how this emblem was born. Lord Baden-Powell himself gives the answer to this question: “We took our sign from the North Star.” In those days, the lily sign was drawn on maps to orientate to the North. Thus, the symbol reminiscent of the North Star speaks of the need to be real and reliable , like a compass, in approaching Scouting ideals, as well as showing the way to others.
The three ends of the lily represent the three elements of the Scout oath, the two five-pointed stars adopted in some countries denote the pursuit of truth and knowledge. In the World Scout emblem, the main element is a lily surrounded by a rope tied with a reef knot, symbolizing the unity and brotherhood of the World Movement. The colors of the World Scout Movement are white and lilac – a white lily on a lilac (royal) background. This is very symbolic: in heraldry, white represents purity, and royal purple represents leadership and helping others.
The main elements of this pattern existed several centuries ago, they were oriented by a compass to the north.
The Chinese are known to have used it as a pointing sign as far back as 2000 BC. The same symbol was found in some Etruscan and Roman ornaments and was found on ancient monuments in Egypt and India.
In Europe, the image has been used as a navigational sign, probably since the end of the 13th century, after Marco Polo brought the compass from his travels.
The Great Encyclopedia Britannica says that this sign, symbolizing the North Star, is also depicted on a primitive compass invented by the Italian navigator Falmi Gioha. Britannica highlights another interesting version of the original drawing, according to which it comes from the Windrose, a sign older than the magnetic compass, which also first appeared among navigators.
The eight main wind directions were depicted in Greek letters, and the north wind was marked with the letter “T”, i.e. “Tramontana”. In those days, “T” was decorated with arrows. The design of the sign has been used quite often. He appeared in picturesque versions of heraldic coats of arms, then in many decorative images, sometimes he represented the tip of a spear, a throwing dart, a lily, etc.
At present, the symbol continues to point the way for navigators around the world; among Scouts, it marks the path to friendship and brotherhood.
Next, we turn to the attributes of the Scouts; among its images: a pennant, a uniform, an appeal or, as the scouts call it, a cry, an emblem, insignia, a neckerchief (scout tie), etc.
Scouts around the world shake hands with their left rather than their right hand, which is a sign of special friendship and faith. This is done whenever a handshake is required, whether or not the Scouts are in uniform at the time.
The Scout salute is given in full uniform and on ceremonial occasions such as the hoisting and lowering of the national flag, always at the recitation of the Scout oath.
A variant of this salute symbol is the scout sign, during which the right hand rises to shoulder level, two fingers – the thumb and little finger are connected, two or three, depending on the age of the scout, are tightly compressed (index, middle and ring). Note that the palm is open to everyone.
And so you have a common cause, common tasks, you have an idea of your existence, you are full of enthusiasm, all this should be expressed in some bright symbol – this is paramount!
Scouts say: “The symbol of the group is its face.” As a rule, such a symbol is a pennant or flag, which corresponds to the general portrait and mood of the group members.
The call (cry) of the group should be simple, short, distinguishable from a distance and correspond to the conditions of the area where you live, as well as express the general mood, common goals and joint activities.
A neckerchief, or otherwise a tie, is mandatory and is a distinctive element for each Scout group; they can be varied in color, they can have the colors of the flag or coat of arms of your city, region.
The special badges in the form of patches worn by the Scout on the sleeve indicate his achievements in one or another Scout “specialty”, for example, in cooking, first aid, sports improvement, etc.
From the very beginning of the creation of the Scout Organization, Scouts have had an official uniform, which they wear with great pleasure. In many countries it is traditional and has existed for more than a dozen years.