well have been that in the end the TOAD, small and slithery as it was,
was not considered to be distinguished, dignified or stately enough
as should befit Royalty. And so a slow process of restyling began (2+3)
until much later the emblem (4) did no longer resemble the original
TOAD anymore and so its initial origin was soon forgotten. (*1). No
4 reminded some of a special lancehead or ARROWHEAD, which the French
had introduced as a modernized, more effective and efficient weapon
which, thanks to its two side leaves, inflicted more effective and deadlier
wounds. A fair example of how, throughout the ages, human progress always
invented better methods of mass destruction. But others thought that
the emblem had a more peaceful similarity with a flower, the FLEUR-DE-LIS
or LILY. And so this symbol of Royalty got known as the Bourbon or the
THE ROYAL HOUSE.
was succeeded by many French Kings who directly or indirectly could
claim to be descending from him, though the Royal House - that he had
founded - changed names several times. Originally the Merowings, then
the Karolings but when Hugo Capet ascended the French throne in 987
his direct descendants occupied it until 1792. Using the following family
names: House of Capet (987-1328), House of Valois (1328-1589) and House
of Bourbon (1589-1792 and 1815-1830). In 1792 the French Revolution
began and - as citoyen (citizen) Capet - King Louis XVI was beheaded.
Napoleon's Empire replaced the Republic and when he had been defeated
the Bourbons came back to the throne (1815) but it was not a great success
and in 1830 the family lost forever its seat and power.
the blue flag was covered (in heraldic terms "seme" or "powdered")
with an even pattern of many "Golden Toads" - as mentioned
- gradually altering into Arrowheads or Fleurs-de-Lis. But it was King
Charles V (1364-1380) who decided to simplify by reducing the number
to three only. Such to honor and worship the Holy Trinity. Three on
either a blue or a white field. And that is how the Fleur-de-Lis (or
Arrowhead) remained the symbol of French Royalty and of Royal France.
The Bourbon Family did not, however, only occupy the French throne but
- for some time, also those of Spain, Parma and Naples and these Bourbons
also used the emblem.
CHARTS AND COMPASS.
there have always been particularly so in the Mediterranean. Some of
them even ventured out of that sea via Gibraltar and braved the waves
of the Atlantic. Some from the Middle East sailed to England and loaded
tin in Cornwall. But they saw to it that they never lost sight of the
coasts. The general opinion was that the world was flat and that somewhere,
far from the beaches, there was an edge and the water cascaded. After
well into the Middle Ages the Church also taught the world was flat
with Jerusalem as its center. But gradually Humanity became aware of
the fact that, contrary to what the Church taught, the world was not
flat but in reality was a globe. An idea which met a lot of resistance
from more conservative circles. In addition the Europeans discovered
and developed the compass - or as some say - took it over from the -
to them - still very distant and mysterious Chinese. Also the art of
producing sea charts was discovered.
These discoveries enabled Portuguese seamen, led by Prince Henry the
Sailor, to sail the Atlantic and they also enabled Columbus to cross
the Atlantic in his search for a new approach to the far away Indies.
He expected that by sailing westwards he would approach the Indies from
the east. Consequently, when he discovered the islands in the Caribbean
he thought he was in the eastern part of the Philippines and Indonesia
and he named the inhabitants the " Indians", And consequently
the original inhabitants of the Americas are still known as the "Red
Thereafter compasses and sea charts were in great demand and the science
of topography developed. Originally the manufacturers of both were found
in the Mediterranean ports. One of them was Flavio Gioja of Naples/Italy.
Baden-Powell, in the American scouting magazine "BOY'S LIFE"
of July 1924 wrote:
"In the Middle Ages, Charles (of Bourbon), King of Naples, being
a Frenchman, had the Fleur-de-Lis as his crest. It was in his reign
that Flavio Cioja, the navigator, made the mariners' compass into a
practical and reliable instrument. His compass card had the initial
letters of North, South, East and West upon it. In Italian the North
was "Tramontano". So he put a capital T to mark the North
point, but in compliment to the King he made a combination of the letter
T with the King's Fleur-de-Lis crest. From that time the North point
has been universally shown on the maps, charts and compass cards by
Originally the Portuguese, the Italians and the Spaniards were the discoverers
and explorers of the "new worlds" but later - England and
the Netherlands took over and became the big, important seagoing nations
and traders, a process which led to many conflicts with Spain and Portugal.
They also produced increasingly better charts and compasses. They indicated
the North with an, often artistic N for North or Noord (Dutch) which
sometimes seemed to resemble the Fleur-de-Lis. But it was certainly
never their intention to in anyway honor the French Royalty. On the
contrary, the Bourbons so often threatened and/or attacked England and
the Netherlands that neither the Brits nor the Dutch were at the least
inclined to have any soft feelings towards them or their Lily. Reason
why the sailors of the British Isles and the Netherlands never spoke
of a Lily or Fleur-de-Lis but the Arrowhead or the Pijlkop (Dutch) or
simply The North.
quote from B-P's articles in US "BOYS' LIFE" magazine of July
"So far back as 1885, when I was adjutant of my regiment, I found
that the young men who joined the army as recruits were little better
than half-educated boys. They knew nothing about reading maps nor about
writing reports or finding their way by the stars, many of them indeed
were afraid to go out alone in the dark, or to take any kind of risks."
"A few years later - well, in 1893-94 to be exact - I was in command
of a squadron of cavalry in Ireland, and I was keen on teaching my men
to become practical Scouts in addition to their ordinary duty of fighting
in the ranks. I made them learn to find their way over strange country
by mapreading, to make maps and to write reports of what they had seen,
and to do the same, each man by himself, by night as well as by day".
In their spare time and in addition to their ordinary duties, soldiers,
warrant officers and officers could - voluntary - undergo this additional
training. During it they were divided in small groups, patrols, of 5
or 6 men. They were also taught to become self-supporting not only able
to cook their own food but to also find the edible. To follow and read
tracks, to remove their own tracks and to keep well hidden whilst observing.
The whole operation was very popular indeed and the men were very keen
to be included.
. I thought that some reward was due to them, and I got leave
from the War Office to give to each man who qualified as a fully trained
Scout a distinguishing badge to wear."
"So in selecting a suitable badge I hit on the Arrowhead or the
North point of the compass, since, like the compass, these Scouts could
show the right direction for going over strange country".
with the War Office's permission B-P. designed the above badges. The
military Scout, after having passed all the tests and having met all
the requirements, was permitted to wear no 5 - a brass emblem - on his
tunic's the right upper sleeve. But that was not all. The men were permitted
to attend a supplementary course and to become a Scout First Class in
which case they were permitted to wear the next badge (6) also a brass
one. Having completed this course the ordinary soldiers were mostly
also promoted to either lance corporal, corporal or even sergeant.
B-P never used the word Lily or Fleur-de-Lis but in accordance with
the British nautical traditions named them Arrowheads and as such they
were known in the army where the were used even when B-P had long since
left the military. In fact the British Household Cavalry maintained
the training as well as the badges until well after World War One (1914-1918).
the experimental camp on Brownsea Island (1907) B-P. unconsciously and
unintentionally laid the foundation for the Worldwide Scout and Guide
Movements. During the camp he wore his military ARROWHEAD and so one
might say that he also - undeliberately no doubt - introduced the ARROWHEAD
that would grow to be the Scout Movement's Emblem to be used worldwide,
but ofcourse he was not to know at the time.
Whereas B-P intended to offer his Scouting program to the excising youth
movements in order to improve their attraction to the boys and to thus
enlarge their memberships, it was soon found that after publication
of SCOUTING FOR BOYS all over Britain boys (and girls) gathered to play
the game. Soon some sort of an organization had to be created and thus
the first ever Scout Association was founded in Great Britain. At first
it registered the patrols which had been founded all over and it was
not until later that such patrols were united in troops which were thereafter
recognized. There had to be an emblem and a membership/promise/tenderfoot
badge and B-P made the design (7) falling back on his military ARROWHEAD.
In print the badge was reproduced for the very first time on page 37
of SCOUTING FOR BOYS' earliest edition and the Founder gave the following
"The Scout Badge is the ARROWHEAD, which shows the North on the
map or on the compass. It is the badge of the Scout
.. because he
shows the way."
observer will discern that once again he did not use the words LILY
or FLEUR-DE-LIS but very much the British nautical term ARROWHEAD.
B-P's original design (7) appeared in print on the first Scout Registration
cards which were issued in 1908 and copies of which are kept in the
Archives of the British Scout Association in London. But according to
Graham Coombe - now retired but until some years ago the association's
archivist - there is no proof available that metal or cloth badges of
this design have ever been produced and issued. In 1909 an ARROWHEAD
of a different design (8) was introduced as a badge and an emblem to
become the first of a large number of official badges and emblem to
be used by the Britons until this very day.
EMBLEM GOES INTERNATIONAL.
Baden-Powell discovered that his Scouting did not restrict itself to
the British Isles and its overseas territories only. Like a wild fire
spread all over the world. The movements of the other countries simply
translated the British rules with some minor adjustments to their national
circumstances. Their national emblems and membership or tenderfoot badges
were also based upon B-P's original ARROWHEAD but of their own, sometimes
very artistic and beautiful designs. By most but
CONFUSION OF TONGUES.
the confusion of tongues also began right away to last until this very
day. In the British territories the scouts stuck to the nautical ARROWHEAD.
As did the Dutch who were using their nautical PIJLKOP (Pijl = Arrow,
Kop = Head). But in other countries, in particular the land-locked ones
unfamiliar with the seven seas, the Founders sometimes mistook the ARROWHEAD
for a French Lily or a Fleur-de-Lis and introduced these words instead
of sticking to B-P's original name. It cannot be denied that Baden-Powell
himself at times also added to the confusion by also using Fleur-de-Lis.
In his own words in BOYS' LIFE magazine of 1924:
"Years ago, soon after the Boy Scouts were first started in America
(USA), certain critics accused the Movement as being a military one.
Whenever anything new is started there are bound to be people who get
up on their hind legs to find fault with it, often before they know
what it is all about.
In this case they said that the Scout Movement was designed to teach
the boys to be soldiers, and they quoted as a proof that the crest of
the Movement was, as they described it: "a spear head, the emblem
of battle and bloodshed."
I was asked by cable what I had to say about it. I telegraphed back:
"The crest is a lily, the emblem of peace and purity". I did
not say in my cable that this was the cause of its being adopted as
the Scouts' Badge, because it wasn't!"
B-P then explained that he took the crest from the compasses and the
sea charts as mentioned above. But the result was that those in US Scouting,
having to beat off the critics used Fleur-de-Lis and - regretfully -
this description has stuck and is still familiar and used in the States
as it is in several other countries. Such as in Germany were they use
Lilie or Pfadfinderlilie or in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium where
Lelie is very common and they do not really understand why their northern
neighbors the Netherlanders, taught their Scouts to use Pijlkop and
never, never Lelie.
Scouting - from the beginning - referred to the emblem as the ARROWHEAD
and avoided using the words Fleur-de-Lis and it had every reason to
The Bourbon Royal Family might have definitely lost the French Throne
in 1830, she was still around and its head-of-the-family was known as
"The Pretender". The Family, as well as its many supporters,
aspired the restoration of the Bourbon Kingdom and one day hoped to
replace the French Republic. The Family - ofcourse - still used the
Bourbon Lily. Her supporters had formed a political party and so the
Royal symbol also became a party-political emblem. During the 19th and
the early 20th century the French Republic considered this political
movement as an unpleasant danger.
French Scouting always explained, underlined and stressed that Baden-Powell's
ARROWHEAD, the emblem of World Scouting, was in no way connected to
the Bourbon Lily. But at the same time it could not introduce the ARROWHEAD
for the simple reason that it had to avoid running the risk of being
in anyway associated with the Royalist political party and its aspirations.
As early as during the 2nd International (now World) Conference of 1922
in Paris, French Scouting had the matter put on the agenda. It explained
the difficult situation and with emphasis urgently requested the other
movements present to please refrain from using the words Fleur-de-Lis
or Lily. In the meeting's minutes it says:
"The Conference decided that the universal acceptance of the name
FLEUR-DE-LIS for the Scout Emblem was impracticable as in certain countries
(notably France) the Fleur-de-Lis has a political significance."
In other words ARROWHEAD is had to be and everybody was requested to
use their national translation of the word. But as history has shown
this request was not very well honoured and regretfully the using of
Lily and Fleur-de-Lis continued until this very day.
But French Scouting was - as mentioned - unable to use the ARROWHEAD.
The situation became even more complicated after 1918 when World War
One had ended. In Italy the Fascist founded a party and in Germany the
National Socialist took over. Both were copied in many countries. In
France there were several be it small but fanatic fascist factions.
Some were aiming at the institution of a Fascist French Kingdom as per
its Italian example. The latter - much to the dismay of the Bourbon
Family and the Royalist party - also used the French Lily as its symbol
and soiled same. In brief, from 1910 to well after World War Two (1939-1945)
the French scouts could not and would not use the ARROWHEAD as their
to use various other designs such as the Bow and the Arrow, the Trefoil
on the Cross of Jerusalem or the Gallic Cock.
changed after World War Two. The fascists and nazis (it was thought
and hoped) belonged to the past. During the worldwide conflict the Bourbon
family had acted as loyal Frenchmen. Some had served in the Free French
Army, others in the US Army and had helped to liberate France. They
and their followers understood that the restoration of the French Kingdom
had become unrealistic and though the Family never yielded its rights
to the Throne, all was more or less getting a nostalgic and symbolic
appearance. And so, almost 40 years after its general introduction,
French Scouting was able to adopt the ARROWHEAD at last.
WORLD SCOUT BADGE.
Scout Associations had their own National emblem, membership/tenderfoot/promise
badge, all based upon B-P's original. And, to the badge collectors'
pleasure and delight, of different designs and sometime very colorful
and artistic indeed. Badges galore!
Yet, from Scouting's earliest hour, there had always been those who,
in order to underline and emphasize Scouting's international Brotherhood
and Unity, had been propagating the idea of one World Scout Badge to
be used by all movements. A good idea but at the time a bit premature.
But during World War Two many nations having experienced to what terrible
things overdone nationalism could lead to, they distanced themselves
from nationalism and promoted internationalism and unity and demanded
more Unity. Also in Scouting.
During the International (now World) Committee meeting of September
26th-29th, 1962 the Dutchman Jan Volkmaars, Chief Commissioner and International
Commissioner of the NPV (Vereniging de Nederlandse Padvinders) put forward
an official proposal to design and introduce ONE WORLD SCOUT BADGE to
be used by all movements. It was a hot item, which was discussed in
length by all movements, and the years passed by until during the 22nd
World Scout Conference at Helsinki (1969) was accepted by all Resolution
05/69. WORLD SCOUT EMBLEM, FLAG AND BADGE.
1) The World Scout Emblem (9)
The Conference resolves that the Wold Scout Emblem shall consist of
a field of Royal Purple bearing the White International Arrowhead surrounded
by a White Rope in a circle and a central reef knot at the bottom, authorizes
its use and reproduction by Member Associations and their members in
forms not intended for sale, and directs that it be incorporated in
the emblem designs of official international events.
there were movements who immediately introduced the World Badge as soon
as it was available, there were others not so keen in doing so. They
found it difficult to drop their, sometimes very nice and artistic national
membership/tenderfoot/promise badges. Some compromised by wearing both
badges. Others were unable to use the new World Badge as they were in
a process of going co-educational, meaning their National Scout and
Guide Movements were merging and consequently a badge had to be used
combining the Scout Badge and the Trefoil. One such country was The
Netherlands, the initiator of it all!!! But according to WOSM's WORLD
SCOUTING BULLETIN of December 1973 75 National Scout Movement were using
the World Scout Emblem and many others were to follow in the years thereafter.
the World Scout Committee formulating its Resolution 05/69 also sought
to end the confusion of the badge's name. Neither Arrowhead nor Fleur-de-Lis
or Lily was used but a new concept was introduced THE WORLD SCOUT EMBLEM.
so the confusion of the tongues has not ended. There are still those
who use ARROWHEAD, whereas in some countries the NSOs are still sticking
to their Lilies. It is to be expected that when Scouting will be a one
hundred years old, the situation will still be very much the same.
Piet J. Kroonenberg, Amsterdam, February, 2001.
WORLD BADGE. 10) Emblem of the Boy Scouts International Bureau (BSIB,
now World Bureau) until the introduction of the World Badge.
(*1) This is an improved version of an article that was first written
in 1994. It was mailed to a number of editors of various scouting and
guiding magazines all over the world. And so it was - translated - also
published in a Spanish, an Italian and a French collectors' magazine.
These countries, in the past, had had Bourbon Kings and so the Fleur-de-Lis
or Lily was very familiar to them. Shortly after publication a number
of letters were received from scouts in those countries in which the
writers lodged strong protests against the idea of the Lily, the symbol
of their former Royalties, originating from a miserable TOAD. One of
the protesters was the late Claude Marchal, the well-known French collector
and owner of the famous Scouting and Guiding Museum in Bullet/Switzerland.
He was filled with indignation and thought the article an insult of
one of France's National Emblems, and requested further publication
to be stopped. This was rather painful the more so as the writer had
a good working elationship with Claude and there had always been a pleasant
exchange of historic facts.
In 1996 Claude - as a good Frenchman - went to Reims to attend the celebrations
mentioned. Entering the cathedral he spotted the tapestry displaying
King Clovis on horseback wrapped in his cloak covered with
.. a very
large number of TOADS. Much surprised but the good sport, he was, he
did not hesitate. He went to a souvenir stall. Found and bought a picture
postcard depicting the tapestry and sent it to the writer with the short
text added: "You were right and I am ever so sorry!"