About the Scout Logo

The current logo was designed in 1997 by John Coburn whose paintings are hung in the National Gallery in Canberra, all state galleries, the Vatican museum in Rome and the John F Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.

The name Scouts Australia was incorporated as part of the current design in 1997 and is now the new trading name of The Scout Association of Australia. The new logo and name “Scouts Australia” has been designed to take the Association well into the 21st Century.

The Symbolism of the logo

The three elements of the North point project several images – the three elements of the Scout Promise, the Scout salute and stylised Eucalyptus leaves – quintessentially Australian.

The central vertical component represents strength, purpose of youth, growing and aspiring. The super imposition of the Southern Cross represents the infinite universe and the wonder and inspiration of the natural world seen by a Scout sleeping under the stars.

The composite natural features – eucalyptus leaves, the heavens, growth and vigour, depict Australian Scouting as it is- natural, healthy, outdoors, unfettered but with direction, goal seeking, free, uninhibited, focussed and positive.

History of the Scout Emblem

fleurdelys150.gif (3021 bytes)The basic design of the Scout emblem is used by Scouts in all the 148 National Scout Organisations in more than 216 countries and territories of the world. The Scout emblem is one of the more widely recognised global symbols because it has been worn by an estimated 250 million former Scouts and is used by 25 million present Scouts. During 1898 when Baden-Powell was Commander of the 5th Dragoons in India , he developed a badge for good conduct and achievement to be issued to his soldiers. It took the form of the fleur–de-lys symbol that was used on the maritime maps of the Northern Hemisphere. Later it was incorporated into the Scout emblem and Lady Baden- Powell said ” It shows the true way to go.” So the emblem helps to remind Scouts that they are true and reliable as a compass in keeping the Scouting Ideals and showing the way to others.

The Original emblem Early Scout Emblem c. 1908

The original emblem had a number of parts that were representative of Scouting. The petals of the emblem represented the three main points of the Scout Promise, the two five pointed stars the original ten Scout Laws. In some countries the stars also represented truth and knowledge. The centre was a sword of service used by the Rovers, the band around the three petals represented Scouting Unity. The curved name represented a Scout smile or Scouting around the world.

The World Scout Emblem

World Scout EmblemThe emblem utilises the arrowhead surrounded by a rope in a circle, tied with a reef knot to symbolise the unity and the Worldwide Scout Movement. The arrowhead and rope are white on a background of royal purple, the colours chosen by Baden-Powell. In heraldry purity is the virtue most frequently symbolised by white, while the royal purple denotes leadership and helping other people.

The First Australian Logo

The first Australian logoIn 1972 the first Australian logo was designed by Derek Wringley an architect and industrial designer. It had to include the World Scout emblem, have an Australian identity and be easy to reproduce on a wide variety of graphic materials. It was first used in June 1973 and featured the World Scout Emblem and the name Australia enclosed by a stylised broken border. The upper section represented the international aspects of the Movement, the lower section representing the Australian components, each fitting the other to give an all embracing Worldwide Movement of Scouting.

The Basic Arrowhead Design

There is evidence that the basic arrowhead design was being used as a directional symbol by the Chinese as early as 2000BC. It has also been found on Etruscan bronzes, Roman ornaments and ancient monuments in Egypt and India. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that the wind rose which is much older than the magnetic compass, first appeared on the charts of Mediterranean pilots. The eight main wind directions were shown by Greek letters, with (Tramontana) as the North Wind. In time the “T” was embellished or combined with an arrowhead and no longer recognisable.

So today, even as the arrowhead continues to point the way for compass users around the world, the Scouting emblem points the way to the 21st century.