Flags, poles and finials

Cambridge District Scout Archive

The following flags are held in the Cambridge District Scout Archive Collection. Not all flags are shown here nor are they presented in date order. A selection of the different styles and layouts are covered.

Archive:  1st, 8th, 16th , 19th, 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 44th, 54th, 55th

Elsewhere: 5th,11th, 12th, 13th, 57th, 60th , W&D

22nd Cambridge troop flag     early narrow Fleur de lis finial: Brass                 push joint no bayonet

St Georges flag                       Spear head finial: Brass                      bayonet twist joint

Dedication: This flag is / dedicated to / the Glory of God / and in Honoured / memory of all those / Scouts who gave / their lives for / their Country in / the 1939 1945 war        / 24 – 2 – 57

55th CambridgeTroop flag                    early narrow Fleur de lis finial: Brass                        bayonet twist joint    

Cub Scout jubilee flag       leaping wolf finial: Brass       bayonet twist joint

Venture Scout flag      wide fleur de lis,    Finial: White metal     screw joint

25th Cambridge Sea Scout troop flag. The pole socket is behind the brass fleur de lis on this finial, the twist projecting at the bottom of the finial traps the flag              The pole is one piece

Cambridge Boy Scouts Association flag No flag pole or finial

From group that ran from 1945

44th Cambridge No flag pole or finial

No flag pole or finial.  Dark blue Sea Scout flag.  Significant damage to centre

1st Cambridge Sea Scout Troop No flag pole or finial

A flag of the 1st is said to have been placed in storage in a hired space under Elizabeth Way bridge at during a gap in the existence of the troop. T Clayton recalled in 2022 that it was significantly damaged by water and thrown away. It is not clear which flag was rescued and water damaged, that above or the early one pictured below. As yet no clear picture of the early flag has been unearthed

This 1st Cambridge non-standard finial is seen in a 1940’s photograph, but the wide base plate is mismatched with a thinner pole. It presumably predates the ensemble.

Probably from 1944
Moth eaten
No flag pole or finial

19th Cambridge Wolf Cub with affiliation (Wesley) The Sawston Wolf Cub flag (below) had a different layout.

Held by District whilst 54th in Abeyance 2018

54th Cambridge Cub flag with location. The 54th ran two packs for a time Arbury and Chesterton and two sets of flags for each pack are held by the archive.

Flags of note held elsewhere within the District

12th Cambridge Troop Baden Powell Boy Scouts   13/6/1913 and below

The new troop colours kindly presented by Miss Davis, headmistress…’ ‘The colours were worked in light blue on dark blue background and…   They take the form of the Chesterton coat of arms surmounted by the fleur de lys and bearing underneath the official Be Prepared scroll.’
April 1913 concert report CC 12th Cambridge Box 2

Viscount(ess) Clifden’s Own


Milton Road Council School 12th Camb’s BP Boy Scouts

The 12th scarf was and is variations on light and dark blue. Note the gaps and the unstitched ‘ESS’ as the name changed to Viscount from Viscountess.

The three badges on the top left are:

  • 1937                5th International Scout Jamboree Nederland
  • 1956                Sandringham camp
  • 1957                50th Anniversary

The faded colours are the result of being on display in front of a small window at the level of the finial.

Perse School 5th Cambridge

Held at Perse School, intertwined PS and V (5th) inside C (Cambridge).  Perse Pelican top right     Photo from Perse The First 400 years. The flag is curiously mounted upside down on an untrimmed staff from a hedgerow and despite the old form of fleur de lys was made in 1990 by the parent of members of the troop. The Union flag is a separate piece sewn on to the artificial material of the backdrop and the probably reused insignia are also appliquéd. The flag, with the slightly misjudged proportions of stripes, suggests an old manufacture and it too may be reused from a previous flag. It is signed and dated. The brass fleur de lys on this finial is similar to that of the 23rd, above.

9th Cambridge flag held by 11th/9th

The 11th Cambridge record a flag made by Alan McKenzie in the late 1930’s. What it replaced, if anything, is unclear.

13th Cambridge A poor photograph of a very faded brown flag which is 100 years old. It is the original colours of the 13th, in the original colour brown as was the scarf. The colours were changed around 1916, the flag had the title Notts’ Own added and was in use for many years, being replaced ‘some years before 1975’ (1969 as quoted below) and finally placed on the wall at some point after 1975 (Ken North addendum to Hutch ‘s 60 year history See 13th Cambridge) It is fringed, as are the 5th and Duxford flags.

Held by the 13th Cambridge

The 13th also retain this brass standard holder on a brown webbing belt. It bears no date.

Duxford flag and hand carved flag pole

The flag pole is full length, the top only shown here.  Held at Duxford Scout Centre

A printed flag having unclear edges to the letters, scroll and fleur de lys. Held by the Leys School Archive. The White bands are archival weighted ropes. Much damaged and repaired.

18th Cambridge District (1st Fulbourn)

Active 1919 and 1921 – 1928 (possibly earlier and later)

Held in St Vigor’s with All Saints, Fulbourn, the ‘old flag’ laid up in 1957 at the dedication of the new. It has a non standard finial and a robust two part oak shaft. Green and Yellow cord.

County Pennant following HQ format.  Held by county.  This is a standard County pennant shape.

A poor photograph of the University Rover scout flag c 2019 shows a standard green rover flag, apparently printed not embroidered or appliqued. It was taken to a CUSAGC meeting but whereabouts now unknown.

Cambridge Archives

1912 6th Cambridge (Higher Grade School) had a flag presented by a fellow schoolmaster, not seemingly connected to the troop, J A Peart ‘designed and embroidered by himself’.

1913 12th Cambridge had a specified Colour Bearer pre WW1. The only known holder of this role was Len Freeman.

June 1913 1st Cambridge flag described as being worked in green and gold silk ‘1st Cambridge Sea Scouts’ .Honour, Courtesy, Obedience, Gentlemanliness, Loyalty, Thrift, Brotherhood, Cheerfulness and Be Prepared. The flag was presumably Cambridge Blue.

The picture below is of the 1st Cambridge Sea Scouts flag. The detail is unclear and the whereabouts of the flag unknown.

1920’s 1st Cambridge Sea Scouts

1921 Cambridge University Rovers considered a flag of ‘Blue with a silver Fleur de Lys and the name of the troop‘ but opted for green and yellow as a usual troop. The move to a uniform style is in marked contrast to pre war flags.

c 1923

23rd Cambridge flag c. 1923 (possibly later)

1922 7th Cambridge (County School) ‘2 Morse flags 2/6’ More were purchased over the next 20 years

1924 7th Cambridge (County School) ‘Patrol flags 1/-

1927 7th Cambridge (County School) ‘Gamages flag 7/6′ (Gamages was a department store with a mail order service)

1928 23rd Cambridge Wolf Cub flag with squatting wolf rather than a wolf head. Photos from Cambridgeshire Collection

See See below for an example from Cardiff below

See below for an extant example from Cardiff

23rd St Matthew’s

1932 13th Cambridge New Patrol flags for Owls, Peewits, Woodpeckers and Bulldogs

1934    55th Cambridge Troop flag for   ₤1/14/-.  A ‘Union Jack’ cost 6/6 and a patrol flag 1/-.

1941 – 46 The 12th Cambridge Air Scouts existed from 1941 to 1946. Someone found the material from somewhere in this time of rationing.

1949    District            agreed to purchase colours   St George’s flag, and District Flag.  To consult the District and then IHQ on design.  No designs were received and DC then P R Arthur  put forward designs which were moderated by IHQ.

The note on this sketch states that the fleur de lys on the shield should be gold not silver as painted. Compare with the flag above.

1950    Three stands for colours to be made District Minutes

1950    26th Cambridge           received their new colours.

1951    District Colours received ₤7/7/9        To be dedicated 1951 St Georges Day.

1952 In Mourning for King George VI ‘Flags carried in public should be draped’

1946 – 1956 Flags as flown on 12th Cambridge M B. ‘Adventurer’

1963 The 12th Cambridge purchased new ceremonial flags for £14/4/0

1964 A flag was ordered for the Cambridge Scouts’ Boat Club by W A Mackrow and once delivered returned for the addition of the dates of going head. The costs quoted were between 41/3d and 194/3d, depending on material, bespoke lettering and work done and one side or both decorated. Before the additional dates he paid 119/3d nett. A short description being:

4′ x 3’… heavy yacht quality all wool bunting. The design… usual Scout green ground having the Boy Scout Fleur de lys only (no motto or scroll) and underneath gold crossed oars and to be lettered between the handles CSBC (on separate panels sewn back to back)

1966 New flags for the Cubs dropped the ‘Wolf’ following the Advance party Report.. No immediate District wide change was recorded and in some packs flags were used for at least 50 years after the event.

1967    Instructions for carrying the colours at the St Georges Day parade – flags at Carry, Carry – Gather in, Carry – flying free

1969 13th presented with new standard

1969 29th presented with new Cub Scout flag made by the previous Akela Mrs. Doris Robinson

1975    A special commemorative flag has been presented to the Cub section by John Chambers, available to all District and County events for next year.         (See Diamond Jubilee flag above)          CSG

1983 At the division of the District North Cambridge had the Union Flag. G Smith, Vice Chair, volunteered to make a St George flag ‘an exact replica of District St George’ A District Flag was ordered.

1985 John Chambers presented Cambridge North with new District Colours in memory of his late father.

Geoffrey Smith Cambridge North Vice Chairman, made and presented a St George’s Flag

A notable flag from Cardiff

When Captain Scott’s Antarctic Expedition ship, the Terra Nova, sailed into her home port of Cardiff on 14 June 1913, she …(was) …bearing the colour of the 4th Cardiff Scout Troop, this little green flag had accompanied the expedition to the Antarctic and back.


H Q descriptions of flags

As for sale H Q Gazette c 1912

4’ x 3’  Rifle Green with Scout Badge and motto in the centre of the flag in yellow (Rifle Green –the Colour of the uniform of The Rifles as currently worn by the Gurkha’s.)

JWR Archivist Feb 2019