Posted 03 May 2006 - 04:23 AM
I found this on the Ulttimate Boy Scoutof America History site.
Pretty neat site.
The Webelos colors were introduced with the "new" Webelos program in 1967. This program offered metal pins referred to as Activity Badges for meeting requirements. But whre to put the badges on the uniform that would not detract from other awards and clutter the uniform?
The answer came from Baden-Powell's very first Scout campout at Brownsea Island in England. On August 1, 1907, each boy was provided with a shoulder knot, a long streamer of colored tape. The color of the tape designated the patrol that the boy belonged to.
It is comprised of woven red, gold and a green streamer on a metal bar. The metal bar has a blue backing wiht gold border and letering spelling out Webelos. It is thought that the colors represented the various levels of Scouting; gold for Cub Scouts, green for Boy Scouts, and Red for Explorers. The "assigned" colors changed in 1980 with the Boy Scouts and Explorer colors reversing as new unifroms were introduced.
Originally, there were only 15 activity pins and no more than five pins were to placed on each streamer. The cloth den numeral was removed and a metal numeral with a rounded top was centered on the yellow (gold) streamer. The numerals were not to be used until the Pack had more than one Webelos den.
It is now an optional uniform item. It probably lost popularity due to it being in a place where it could easily be knocked off the unifrom during horseplay. The colors became known as having "weak" attaching pins. If the colors and badges were lost, the cost of replacement was very expensive. Also, the wearing of pins on cowboy hats and ball caps has become popular. The placement of pins on the Webelos cap reflects this trend.
It is worn on the right sleeve and in 1967 was placed below the shoulder seam. As the flag was added to the uniform ,it was worn immediately below and touching the U.S. Flag. The top was squared off to fit better under the flag. Today, if a den number is worn, it is placed under and touching the den number.
The national office was going to eliminate the Webelos Colors in the late 80's, however, an outcry from the field brought them back. Although, in today's Webelos books it is difficult to find pictures or references to the colors.