Promise badges




The promise-badge is in fact the oldest and most important badge of Scouting.

It is the first badge that is given at the installation as a member of Scouting and it is proof of membership to the world organisation for boys, the WOSM (World Organisation of Scouts Movement) or the world association for girls, the WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts),


After the start of Scouting in Holland in 1910, two national and several local associations emerged.


The NPO (Nederlandsche Padvinders Organisatie) (Dutch Scouts Organisation) used the lily as a promise badge, just as in the rest of the World as symbol of Scouting, and a ribbon under it with the letters NPO.

The lily or arrow point was used in land and naval maps to point out the north.



The NPB (Nederlandsche Padvinders Bond) (Dutch Scouting Union) had the Dutch Lion as an promise badge with under it a ribbon with in it “Plicht Bovenal” (Duty above all). The letters P and B stood for Padvinders Bond (Scouts Alliance)



One of the local organisations was the RPV (Rotterdamsche Padvinders Vereeniging) (Rotterdam Scouting Movement). The promise badge consists of an anchor with “Trouw” (Loyalty) above it. The O from Trouw was also the ring of the anchor. This was the badge of the Boy Scouts Movement, in which local movements from Dordrecht, Wageningen and some other towns were associated.

Later on the NPB adopted the badge and completed it with a laurel wreath.




A new promise badge came after the merge of the NPO and the NPB to the NPV (Vereeniging De Nederlandsche Padvinders) (Dutch Scouts) on december 11, 1915. A woven silk badge with the lily of the NPO, the international Scout sign, and under it a ribbon with Waakt (Watch out) in it, with a curl down, like that of the NPB, and surrounded with the laurel wreath of the NPB. 


Originally the installation badges were worn on the left sleeve.


On June 1st 1928 a new promise badge was launched. A embroided badge on a felt background and paper back. The curl of the ribbon went up again and Waakt was replaced by the letters NPV. The badge also left the left sleeve to go on the left pocket. This badge wasn’t used for a long time. Halfway 1929 the ribbon left and only the red lily was left over.


This red lily  was used as a promise badge in different forms and shapes until the merge in 1973, both in the NPV as in the KV (Catholic Scouts).

The boy scouts used the badge with a khaki background and in the sea scouts used a blue background. The rovers of the KV had a green background and so did the cubs staff.



The Cubs used the wolves head as an promise badge from the start in 1920 until the merge (1973).



Besides the promise badge the religious scouts wore a badge on the right pocket that indicated the signature of their scouting group.




Christian Groups


Life Saving Scouts










Catholic Groups      















The PVN (Padvindersvereeniging Nederland) (Scoutsassociation Holland) which separated in 1932 from the NPV in 1932, had a light blue lily, missing the bottom, on a blue background as promise badge.



The cubs had a wolves head as an promise badge, a larger one than the NPV badge, also on a light blue background.


Facing the World Jamboree in 1937 the PVN contacted the NPV and shortly after that, was absorbed in it.


Shortly after scouting started for boys in 1910, local scouting associations for girls arose. Like the “Leidsche Meisjes Gezellen”  (Girl comrades Leiden) in 1911, the “Rotterdamsche Meisjes Padvinders” (Rotterdam Girl Scouts) in 1912, the “Amsterdamsche Meisjes Gezellen” (Amsterdam Girl Comrades), the “Haagsche Speursters” ( The Hague Girl Trackers), and the “Amerfoortsche Padvindsters” (Amerfoort Girl scouts).


Through the founding of the “Eerste Nederlandsche Meisjesgezellen Vereeniging” (The first Dutch Girl Comrades Association) in 1912 in The Hague an attempt was made to come to a national collaboration, but is didn’t succeed.


It took until 1916 before a national association arose. January 31st 1916 the NMG (“Nederlandsch Meisjes Gilde”) was founded in Amsterdam. The ENMGV didn’t want to join and survived on its own for a few years.


As a symbol was chosen a eight pointed star, representing the eight points of the law, and above is “Wees Bereid” (Be prepared).



Together with the girl scouts pin, a metal eight pointed star, with under it a ribbon with the word “Padvindster” (Girl Scout) in it, this became the promise badge.


In 1931 this metal pin was replaced by a enamelled clover-leaf, with in it an eight pointed star and in the leafs the letters NMG. Beneath the clover-leaf a ribbon with in it “Wees Bereid” (Be prepared). The woven badge was worn on the left sleeve, between elbow and shoulder and the pin was worn on the knot of the tie.



When the name of the NMG was changed in NPG (Nederlands Padvindsters Gilde) (Dutch Guide Guild) in 1933 the letters NMG were replaced by NPG. After shifting to the international law in 1936, the law changed from eight to ten points. The star in the badge and on the pin was also changed. Instead of an eight pointed star it became a ten pointed star.




In the fifties the uniform was modernised. The girl guides got a light blue blouse and a dark blue skirt and the pin was replaced by a tie ring. The badge disappeared from the sleeve, leaving this tie-ring the only installation sign. This woggle was worn over the knot of the tie.



From starting the brownies until the merge in 1973 a metal pin was used as an promise badge by the NMG and NPG, picturing a dancing brownie. This sign was worn on the knot of the tie, just like the girl guides. The pin was also replaced by a woggle at the end of the fifties.




Pioneers of the NPG just as the Pioneers of the NGB got at their installation the “Kleine Vlaminsigne” (small flame badge), a red flame on a dark blue background.


The Guides of the NGB, which were founded in 1946, wore on the right pocket of the dress a yellow Adreas-cross with a blue clover-leaf on a dark blue background as a promise badge.



When the Guides also modernised their uniform in the fifties the woven installation sign disappeared and instead came an enamelled metal sign, worn on the flap of the left pocket.


The brownies of the NGB had a yellow Andreas-cross with a yellow sun on a blue round, on a brown background for a promise badge. This sign was also worn on the right side of the uniform.



In the fifties the Brownies also got a new emailed sign.


After merging the four Scouting organisations to Scouting Nederland in 1973, there wasn’t immediately a new promise badge. Many groups changed to the international sign of the WOSM, the white lily surrounded by a white cord ending in a flat knot on a purple background.


Shortly afterwards Scouting Nederland got its new promise badge. It became a combination of the purple lily and a yellow clover-leaf, the international scouting signs of the boys and girls, surrounded by a purple cord with a flat knot on a white background. The two five-pointed stars in the lily regard to the ten items of the Scout’s law.



The museum is always interested in "old" Dutch scouting stuff.
Are you considering removing your old stuff, please contact us.