More About the Council Patch
George Washington Council
by Larry Gering

A History of Scouting Through Insignia - Arapahoe I"
Richard Breithaupt and Albertus Hoogeveen - 1976
This book, the first of the truly quality "trading info" books, 8.5 x 11 inches in size with quality photos and detailed information, is now a collector's item. (Larry Gering).
(pg 37) The first council shoulder strips appeared in the late 1940's. They had khaki twill and red embroidered letters in the same size and shape as a community strip. (snip) These didn't last very long, probably because they were difficult to read from any distance. In the middle 1950's the color was changed to a red twill with white letters. These were far more conspicuous and readable. Because of this they were almost universally adopted by all councils. They were worn mostly by adult scouters. In some councils the only people that wore the council shoulder strips were adults
(pg 51) The council shoulder patch (CSP) was officially introduced to councils by a letter dated April 17, 1970 from the supply division, Boy Scouts of America, New Brunswick, New Jersey to all scout executives. The "National Executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America established the council shoulder insignia as 'official' identification of all Scouting uniforms." The letter states that the 'new regulation is aimed at strengthening identification of the council, its name and state.' There was probably another reason for this change, namely the reduction of inventories. It is much easier to stock one shoulder patch per council than it is to stock several community strips plus a state strip.
A council may now design its own colorful shoulder insignia with the council name across the top and the state(s) across the bottom. Enclosed with the letter were three sample designs and shapes to provide the council with a guideline for their own design.
Thus was born the most popular form of patch or insignia collecting among scouts. The reason for the popularity of the CSP as a collectors item is their beauty and availability. With few exceptions, they may be purchased by anyone walking into the local scout office or distributor while traveling across the United States on vacation.
Though the official recognition of the CSP did not occur until 1970, several councils had been issuing them for years. The three most common are Cach Valley Council, East Carolina Council and George Washington Council.

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Rev: Sep 2, 1999