A Special Note about Temporary Insignia

(for more Boy Scouting uniforming, insignia and flag information, stop by my Badge and Uniform Site).

The U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (which I serve as a board member and communications Vice-President) is providing a second version of their special Internet Scout education and training program. For participation in the training, members and mentors (adults working with youth members on the requirements) can purchase/obtain special patches made by the USSSP. A question was posed over in Facebook™ ,asking the following question:

Just courious...how can you sell patches to scouts that are not associated with BSA? How can they wear them on their uniforms if its not official BSA?

Great question. Here's the answer from the BSA's Insignia (Control) Guide:

Article X, Section 4, Clause 11. Local councils are authorized to adopt special badges and insignia as awards for particular purposes in harmony with national policies and to permit their use upon the official uniform in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Corporation, but such awards must be approved as to purpose and design by the Corporation in advance.

The above clause from the BSA's Rules and Regulations is known as the "local Council catch-all patch clause." Basically this clause allows local Council Scout Executives (the ONLY person in that Council to make this decision on behalf of his or her local Council) to approve special insignia to be worn on Scouting uniforms in THEIR COUNCIL. This insignia can be...

  • ...designed by National Supply (such as blank or stock insignia) with provided local Council "information";
  • ...special insignia designed by outside firms or organizations and approved for wear on BSA uniforms, hats, jackets or teeshirts through licensing or approval by Council Scout Executives in writing;
  • ...or can be insignia or other items made by outside firms or organizations (for instance the USSSP's emblem, emblems made by parks or attractions (i.e. emblems sold at the Pentagon, National parks, military bases, etc.) and permitted to be worn with BSA uniforms as temporary items.

Examples of this include Red Cross and NRA (National Rifle Association) insignia and medals; activity emblems, hiking trail medals and patches made by outside sources; and special religious awards patches.

All of these emblems are considered "temporary insignia" by the BSA. There's more information on the Badge and Uniform Site about temporary insignia.

The Internet Scout insignia was first offered by the USSSP back in the middle 90s to assist the BSA with developing "best practices" as to the Internet. Thousands of patches were sold as units, meeting the requirements "on their honor", ordered, awarded and worn the emblems. Scout Executives welcomed the special insignia because they saw lots of positives in the USSSP's program, even though the BSA did not develop a similiar program.

The emblems are only worn in the following manner:

Centered on the right pocket or suspended from the right pocket button of the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venturing or adult uniform.

Placed on a patch vest, blanket, jacket or other personal item of the Scout or Scouter.

Boy Scouts can place the patch on the backside of the merit badge sash along with other temporary insignia.

The reference is any version of the BSA's Insignia (Control) Guide.


(More information about the U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.'s Internet Scout program and to purchase the Scout and/or Mentor patch).

(for more Boy Scouting uniforming, insignia and flag information, stop by the Badge and Uniform Site).