HOWTO make a rainbow-flag Eagle Scout Medal

Rachel sez, "Instructions on how to replace the red-white-blue ribbon on the eagle award with a rainbow hued ribbon in support of LGBT rights. There is also a surprisingly passionate discussion on both sides of the issue in the comments section."

How to Hack Your Eagle Award


  1. “This instructable is an act of hate against the BSA.”

    I am perpetually amazed at how…selectively…calibrated some people’s delicate little feelings are. 

    “That red white and blue ribbon represents the American Flag and to deface that is about the same as burning the flag. I would never stand for that and no true American would either! Absolutely disgusting that such a hate filled instructable has been allowed! ”

    This one is also a winner. Apparently not familiar with the “The only flag worth burning is the one you are forbidden to burn” school. I have to worry about people who begin to value symbols above what they are supposed to symbolize…

    1. I’m amazed/baffled by the idea that one should hold allegiance to the country one was born in, as if it’s our innate duty to perpetuate war against the Other. The BSA seems to feed that notion quite a bit, judging from the comments in that instructable.

      1. re: “I’m amazed/baffled by the idea that one should hold allegiance to the country one was born in”

        Why is that so baffling? What country do you pledge allegiance to if not your own?

        1. I’d be inclined to draw a somewhat finer distinction: Owing allegiance to what your country is supposed to be (and possibly even doing something about it) is a noble business. Owing allegiance to whatever your country actually is and vitupratively attacking those who seek to renovate it, by contrast, is insane or evil.

        2. Why would you have any sort of allegiance to a political-economic arrangement put together by other people centuries ago?

        3. Do you need an allegiance to any country?

          I live in a country. I was not non a country. I’m even greatful for what growing up in my country has provided me.

          But its not my bloody wife. It’s a landmass. I’d be happy to find another.

          1. Was supposed to read: “I was born in a country” believe it or not, that third sentence that makes no sense.

            I’d edit it, but apparently the sort order of the comments is a higher priority than actually being able to use them.

          2. Sometimes when I criticize my country, or even the more localized area where I live, people ask me, “Why don’t you move?”

            And the answer is simple: this is my home. There are a lot of things that I love about it, but the things that I love don’t make me blind to the fact that the roof needs repairing, the paint is peeling, and the foundation is cracked.

            Metaphorically speaking, of course.

          3. Sometimes when I criticize my country, or even the more localized area where I live, people ask me, “Why don’t you move?”

            I get it. I’m a nonreligious liberal born in Alabama and raised in an evangelical church, and I’m staying partly because of family and social connections, and partly out of spite. Alabama is defined by me as much as it is by Roy Moore, and I’ll be damned if I let the terrorists win.

        4.  You know who else swore an oath to ..  uhh… 
          Pledging allegiance to something that is subject to change is not smart. 
          Unless one is planning to use it as a defense for the crimes one committed bound by oath. 

    2. “”This instructable is an act of hate against the BSA.””

      Obviously this person is unaware that the BSA threw the first stone. all while telling the world children are not safe around me and then covering up their own complicit behavior is hiding from the world (and the childrens own parents) pedophiles preying on their scouts.

      Maybe once BSA comes clean, apologized to those molested children who had their childhoods shattered and makes reparations for concealing these acts and blaming everyone but themselves for pedophiles returning to prey on scouts time after time they might have done something to offset the hate they should be facing.

      Ooooh the bad mean man put a rainbow ribbon on his Eagle Scout Award in protest, he committed an act of hate.
      Umm the BSA covered up YEARS of sexual abuse of children, fought to hide those records, did not turn perpetrators over to authorities, and covered up the crimes.

      Which one is an act of hate again?

    3. On the other hand, I thought this is comment was right on…

      “I know my comment will probably offend some, but in all honesty all I see is an honored symbol being defaced for political purposes.”

      *reads further*

      Oh, wait, they WEREN’T talking about the Boy Scouts defacing all their honored symbols merely by the act of forbidding people based on their sexual orientation, that now whenever they see one such symbol, it’s a constant reminder of that bigotry?

      My mistake.  Carry on…

  2. I was an Eagle Scout, so was my brother (who is an award winning scoutmaster), as is his older son, my oldest nephew. In December his younger boy, my favorite nephew, will also get his Eagle award. I am invited to the award ceremony. My bro and his wife already think I am unfathomably weird, so there isn’t much social cost to me, borrowing this idea and showing up wearing a hacked medal. It has has an attraction, on personal and political levels, but can I dare to embarrass my Mother? Not sure where my medal is though. Hmmm. To the attic…

  3. I’m not sure how surprising it is that the discussion is passionate. That they’re keeping it relatively civil is.

  4. As an Eagle Scout and mostly open-minded individual I view this modification with the same feelings that I have whenever I see a rainbow’ed item. I want to take the rainbow back for the rest of us… who gave the LGBTGEtc… community the rights to the rainbow for their own symbolic use?  I thought it belonged to the unicorns. I can’t even wear my rainbow suspenders anymore.

      1. For the same reason that only autistics are allowed to do puzzles and wearing pink is banned unless you have a doctor’s note verifying that your breasts are making an attempt on your life. True facts.

    1. You might have my sympathy if it weren’t for the fact that I hate rainbow-patterned things and am expected to own a few.

    2. As a straight non-Eagle Scout male I embrace this added symbolism of the rainbow and wear it as a defiant symbol of support as well as for it symbolizing peace and having pretty colors. 

  5. Instead of trying to fix the Boy Scouts with rainbow modifications of badges, perhaps what we need is a credible alternative that is not based in fascism, racism, anti-gay bigotry and a history of protecting pedophiles.

    Former Scout

    1. Agreed.  

      -Another former scout

      My troop’s first scout leader was a nice guy, and under him it was totally secular and about going camping and being a good citizen.   I bailed out after he left and the new guy was some weird-ass Christian psychologist.   

      As an aside, at the time I was too young to understand the subtext when our troop leaders (the first ones) wanted us to quit calling this game “smear the queer” and call it “kill the carrier” instead, but the tradition of calling it “smear the queer” was definitely there. 

    2. Another former Scout, and Eagle, here…

      I’d be fine with an alternative organization if it weren’t for the following:

      1) In spite of both history and current policies the Boy Scouts have a reputation as a good organization. In many areas the alternative organizations that exist don’t have the same reputation, and any kid who joins an alternative organization has a pretty good chance of being singled out, or feeling singled out.

      2) The alternative organizations don’t have the same breadth as the Scouts. That is, in many areas, alternatives aren’t available.

      3) I believe the Scouting organization  should be held to the principles its members espouse. Maybe this was merely my own personal interpretation, but I always felt that Scouting should be open to everyone. The Girl Scouts don’t have a problem with this, so I’m not sure why the Boy Scouts continue to cling to outdated policies.

  6. I normally am just put off by scouts selling cookies or popcorn in front of supermarkets, or the VFW or VVA pushing peonies or purple ribbons or whatever by the mall, but… these days… the boy scouts can suck it. I struggle not to be offensive to them when they open the door for me and ask me to buy their popcorn. I’m… grrrr.

    1. Remember the scouts are often to young to understand the issues at play, we can’t hold children to the same standards.
      While it is sad they are involved in an intolerant group, in many cases they joined something to learn skills and go camping.
      A polite no thank you not interested is all it takes.
      Dropping a note to the local scout troop leader asking to be removed from their future fundraising drives and the reason for your decision should solve the issue.

      1. As a former Eagle Scout, I instead call out the boys on the fact that they’re not in Class A uniform, and that I would have only considered buying if they *were* in uniform.  Their parents never really know what to say in those cases, and it’s fun to watch them squirm.

        1. Having been in a troop where some families couldn’t afford Class A uniforms I frown at that approach.

  7. There are several alternate organizations, including the Baden Powell Scouts,  Why don’t these organizations have more  clout?  Because people keep making excuses to join the Boy Scouts and hoping they will change.

  8. My brother is an almost Eagle Scout (he never completed his final project, much to my mother’s dismay). The scout troop he was involved with was so so so good. They went to Philmont every year. The leaders were fatherly, skillful in all things outdoorsy, and true role models. 

    The boys in the troop were a tight knit bunch. I remember that my brother was involved in getting an unpopular kid elected to some position or other in the troop (president, co-president? I don’t remember how the elected positions were ranked) and the former outcast became  an accepted, integrated part of the group. 

    It is an experience that few other organizations can give. The resources they have, the people involved, are exceptional.One of my brother’s best friends in grammar school, a guy who went to high school with us as well and who I since stayed in touch with through Facebook, came out gay after college. A cop, a guys-guy who liked guns and fishing and hunting, to him Scouting was like mother’s milk. He is now a lawyer and actively involved in trying to get the Scouts to strike down the ban on gay scout leaders.I do understand why men are fighting so hard for this specific group to change. Keep on fighting Scouts. Keep on.

  9.  I might have had the idea first (in a bOINGbOING thread) and I approve of bobkrispen‘s instructable. 

  10. I’m thinkin’ that if you need an Instructable to re-ribbon a badge, you p’bly weren’t enough of a Scout to make Eagle…

    (Similar story to spacedmonkey — won my Life Scout, got halfway through Eagle when our distict was taken over by ardent, Levitican Xians; the only sane reaction was to quit.)

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