Red & White Strip / Council Shoulder Patches
Until the early 1970's most scouts wore shoulder insignia that specified the city and state where their unit was located. These curved stipes of cloth were typically white stitching on a red twill material worn on the left uniform shoulder above the unit number (for Boy Scouts). There were perhaps tens of thousands of these city/state strips since each town would have one. The logistics of maintaining such an inventory must have been a huge headache for the national scout organizsation. By the 1960s however, many councils had offered a council shoulder insignia to take the place of city/state strips. These were most commonly still white stitch on red twill (or another combination for Exploring, Sea Scouts or Air Scouts). They nearly always contained the council name and sometimes the state. These strips are frequently referred to as "Red and Whites" or RWS / RAW strips.
By the early 1970's National BSA began to encourage what today is known as a true "Council Shoulder Patch" or CSP. These were intended to be a more colorful representation of a council much as most Order of the Arrow flaps had become. Some individuals also contend that the National intention was that all CSP would be inexpense and unrestricted for purchase (they are after all for uniform identification) by any scout. Collecting had become a frequent hobby and the theory goes that such easy to acquire patches would make it easier for youth to enjoy the hobby.
Eastern Arkansas Area Council followed the traditional pattern described above. A common RWS was used until the early 1970's when we offered a twill shoulder patch. This twill CSP was used until the early 1980's when a series of more colorful CSP were made available.
The primary reference for Council Shoulder Patches is An Aid to Collecting Selected Council Shoulder Patches and is the source for the 'CSP Code' used below. Jamboree Shoulder Patches (JSP) are not however listed in this publication. The codes used for JSP are our own reference.
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