Sand from the Czech Republic, red from Austria, green from Mexico. Short pants that the scout uniform gave the world |

Sand-colored shirts, badges and scarves. Scouts have been roaming the Czech Republic for over 100 years, during which time their costumes have become so iconic that most people recognize them. It was supposed to eliminate social distinctions between Scouts. Today it serves as a ‘showcase’ of what each Scout has achieved. Aktuálně.cz brings the final part of the series to the next 100 under Junák’s banner.

When the Czech Scouts stayed in their first camp 110 years ago, they experienced adventures much like they do today. However, one important thing was missing. There are no traces of traditional Scout attire in the photos, and the boys spent their time at camp wearing plain white shirts.

Antonin Benjamin Svoisik, founder of the Czech Scouts, did not initially plan for Fnách to adopt the uniform of a British model. He was inspired by the Chod tribe and modeled them for Junak, he even dressed like them, in the first camp he wore checkered knee socks, etc. says Scout historian Romain Chantra. However, it did not impress the boy at the time. They coveted shirts and hats similar to the ones they knew from British Scout photos.

The movement’s founder, Robert Baden-Powell, was particularly inspired by equipment he knew from his time in the military when assembling his costume. It consisted of a scarf and a wide hat. For example, those used by African soldiers before the war.

At that time, it was practical clothing for outdoor use. “The kids wore them on road trips for days, and t-shirts weren’t as comfortable back then as they are today,” Shantra explains. Uniforms also had an educational function. It was relatively inexpensive, and wearing it within the section eliminated social differences for individual children.

“Baden-Powell succeeded in creating a costume that caught the attention of the boys of his time. The boys wanted to look like soldiers, but at the same time, the costume was worn by American foresters. It was like clothes… an adventure,” assesses Shantra.

Svojžik therefore did not succeed in forcing Chodu’s model to the Czech scouts. Already in 1913, the wearing of British-style uniforms among the divisions was established, thanks in part to the fact that a shop in Wenceslas Square began selling scout clothes brought from England.

At the time, many of the Scouts were from wealthy families, so buying equipment wasn’t a problem. However, over time, the movement began to spread beyond Prague, involving socially vulnerable children who struggled to save up for costumes. “Kids colored their shirts and made hat shapes out of other hats,” says Shantra.

After the creation of an independent Czechoslovakia, the costumes became more popular as they were sewn as well as sold domestically. Scouts wore uniforms as well as belts, whistles and socks. Shirts can be sand-colored, but also brown, green, or yellow.At the time, only blue was worn by water scouts.

From the beginning, the costume serves as a sort of “showcase” for each Scout. “When you meet a person, you can immediately learn a lot about him: where he is from, what he does, whether he has made any commitments. We can show what we have achieved,” says Shantra.

short-term revolution

The advent of the Boy Scout uniform began to change the way the general public wore shorts. Especially during the scout period, it was common for boys to wear long pants like an adult.

But that changed with the arrival of the Scouts. The wearing of shorts became common among older children and later, thanks to mentorship, among adults as well. In the late 1980s it was Jaroslav Vogler, a writer and Scout leader.

But Scout wasn’t just wearing shorts. A big change came in the 1930s and his 1940s when his childhood scouts, bear cubs and fireflies, went on expeditions wearing his T-his shirt, then called jersey. was. At the time, it was considered a boy’s clothing like shorts, but it started to be worn in the 1950s.

sting operation

The Scout was banned by the Nazis during World War II, then by the Communists from 1950 to 1968, and again from 1970 to 1989. Some sections began operating under the banners of other organizations, while others continued in secret. I had to adapt to this.

For example, the 43rd section of the Majak Center in Prague, run in the 1980s by current KDU-ČSL MP Hayato Okamura, was operating illegally. Despite the danger of discovery, its members used ceremonial costumes and symbols, but special measures were required.

“We used a so-called filkank, a rectangular piece of felt cloth with four snaps on which all the symbols were pinned. Inside, we wore it on our shirts only when we were sure, to make sure that no one was looking at us as they would report us or our leader. We preferred to get rid of them,” says Okamura.

red, blue, green

Costumes are worn less often than they were during the First Republic, but they are still an integral part of ceremonial occasions and Scouting ceremonies. However, after the post-Velvet Revolution relaunch, the list of essential components was narrowed down. “Of course, this has to do with fashion becoming more relaxed, and soldiers no longer being role models for children as they used to be, so children no longer want full uniforms.” says historian Shantra.

Uniform socks and hats were by the wayside, leaving only the most important of the missions – sand shirts and scarves. They often travel in tricot, and some sections have their own caps. However, some groups still follow tradition and go hiking in full outfits. There are also groups, but there are far fewer of these groups,” says Shantra.

Since uniform regulations were introduced in the Czech Republic in 2000, except for water suits, you won’t come across any scouts other than sand shirts. However, other countries have deviated from this tradition, and Scouts wear completely different colors, often inspired by a particular country’s flag.

At international Scout meetings, Austrians, Swiss, and Spaniards sometimes meet in red, Swedes in blue, and Mexicans in green. “Some countries, like Germany, have more Scout organizations, each with their own uniform colors, which makes them even more diverse.

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