Our Neckerchief

A neckerchief consists of a triangular piece of cloth or a rectangular piece folded into a triangle.  The long edge is rolled towards the point, leaving a portion unrolled.  The neckerchief is then fastened around the neck with the ends either tied or clasped with a slide or woggle.

The origin of the Scouting neckerchief arose during the Second Matabele War in 1896.  During the war, Lord Baden-Powell (“B-P”) worked with Frederick Russell Burnham, an American-born scout employed by the British Army.  B-P adopted Burnham’s practical style of dress, including “a grey-coloured handkerchief, loosely tied around the neck to prevent sunburn.”

When B-P launched the Scout Movement with the book Scouting for Boys in 1908, he prescribed a neckerchief or scarf as part of the Scout uniform.  B-P directed that every Scouting unit should have its own scarf color.  In addition to aiding in identifying each unit, the neckerchief has a number of practical uses.

We designed our unit’s neckerchief to honor the flag of the City of Knoxville, Tennessee, which has represented our City since 1896.  The flag’s colors are said to symbolize loyalty (blue), courage (red), and two of the City’s historic industries: marble (white) and coal (black).

Flag of Knoxville, Tennessee

In Crew / Ship 4, we wear our neckerchiefs even with (appropriate) nonuniform clothing whenever we’re engaged in Scouting activities so as to clearly identify us as members of the Scout Movement, and we wear our neckerchiefs over our collars, the same as B-P, James E. West, Scouting art painted by Norman Rockwell, and Indiana Jones.