Early Uniform. Recent research into early Boy Scout uniforms and insignia in preparation for outfitting our Centennial Celebration Team in authentic 1910 reproduction uniforms tells us that the first BSA uniform was an impractical copy of the US Army uniform, which disregarded the far more practical English uniform designed by Baden-Powell. The early BSA uniform had no neckerchief, and Scouts generally wore knickers with leggings and a button-down coat with metal insignia on their hats (adults were allowed to earn merit badges and ranks right along with the Scouts).
The uniform coat was buttoned with embossed BSA metal loop-shanked buttons in two sizes, the smaller used on the pocket flaps. The buttons were fastened by a wire ring threaded through the loop behind the buttonhole. Metal four-hole buttons were used on knickers or breeches to attach suspenders or stays used with a belt.
Early Insignia. During the 1910s, Boy Scouts typically wore their insignia as follows: On the lower right sleeve, Boy Scouts wore a combination of service stripes indicating their years of service. A green stripe stood for one year of service, and a red stripe for three years of service. Above the service stripes on the right arm the Scout wore his Second of First Class badges, as well as any combination badges. Above the right breast pocket, Boy Scouts (in the last year or two of the 1910s) sometimes wore "Boy Scouts of America" strips, and above the
left breast pocket they wore Life, Star and Eagle badges, or any other special awards they had received. On the flap of the left breast pocket, a new Scout wore his tenderfoot pin. Finally, on the collar of the jacket Boy Scouts sometimes wore metal "BSA" pins and troop number badges.