Universal Arrow Ribbon

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Arrow Ribbon Points Right

The Universal Arrow Ribbon first introduced in 1942 had always pointed over the wearer's left shoulder. Starting in 1950 the OA decided to rid itself of code words that referenced “left” and instead used "right".  

First Official Uniform Insignia

Even though the Order had existed for over a quarter century and had always used insignia, it was not until 1942 that Arrowmen could “officially” wear any OA item on the uniform. In a sign of the growing importance of the expanding official Scout program, the BSA Uniform Committee authorized the Universal Arrow Ribbon. The first Universal Arrow Ribbon was very similar to what is still used today. It was made to fit over the right shirt pocket button and was a red and white silk ribbon with a sterling arrow.

OA Requests First Uniform Insignia

As of January 1940, the Order of the Arrow still was not authorized to wear any insignia on a Boy Scout uniform. Totem pins, the official insignia since the beginning of WWW, were only authorized for civilian wear. Few emblems existed. The patches that did exist were typically simple emblems worn on sweaters, breach cloths, or jackets. While some Arrowmen did wear badges on their Scout uniforms, they were worn in violation of National Lodge and BSA rules.

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